Technology and and innovations in the medical field are constantly changing, and those who work in the medical field are required to keep up with the ever-changing pace of this field. Medical and health services managers play an important role in the development and upkeep of the health care industry. They are in charge of budgeting, scheduling, updating technology and working with doctors and patients to keep the health care industry in shape. Medical and health services managers also work long hours, often staying on-call in case of an emergency. Many work in hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, or other environments. Just like any other business, the health care industry needs managers to keep things running smoothly, and this is exactly what these individuals do in their day-to-day job responsibilities.
Medical and Health Services Managers Job Duties
The job duties of a medical or health care manager may vary greatly, depending on the kind of work environment and the size of the facility. In smaller facilities, there may be only one or two top managers who do everything, including budgeting, working with patients, admissions, and paperwork. In larger facilities, such as hospitals or large nursing facilities, there are many different administrators. Often, the responsibilities are divided into departments, and each department has its own managers with different duties. These department managers have more specific duties related only to their department, whereas in smaller facilities, a small group of managers is responsible for all operating needs.
Since health care professionals work around the clock, often medical and health services managers also work long hours. Often, these individuals are on call in case of an emergency. For this reason, it is necessary to have the physical and mental stamina to work long hours in order to be a successful medical or health services manager. In addition to working long hours, it is also necessary to pay close attention to detail. The health care industry is constantly changing and transforming with new technology and with new ideas about health problems and solutions. Medical and health services managers are responsible for making sure that all procedures are followed correctly and that all state and national regulations are being met in their facilities. Also, medical and health services managers must often stand for long periods of time, so this is an important physical quality to consider when thinking about a career in this field.
Medical and Health Services Managers Training and Education Requirements
As would be expected, there are certain educational requirements that must be met in order to become a medical or health services manager. Most of the time, a master’s degree is required for these positions. A good knowledge of business administration as well as knowledge of health care and medicine is also necessary. For entry-level positions, sometimes a bachelor’s degree will suffice. Rarely, on-the-job training will substitute for formal education. In order to become a top manager, it will be necessary to have a master’s degree in health services administration, public health, health services, or business administration. Most students attend school for a liberal arts degree in health care before attending a graduate program. Most graduate programs last two to three years, and will include courses on business and medical ethics, law, finance, information systems, and planning methods. In addition, all prospective medical and health services managers must obtain a license from their state of residence, as well as attend continuing education programs to stay up-to-date with the latest medical innovations and technologies.
Medical and Health Services Managers Certifications
Aside from formal education, some states require a license to practice as a health care manager or administrator. The American Health Information Management Association offers coursework required in order to be certified as a Registered Health Information Administrator, a certification required by some states in order to practice. Also, many positions will pay more for individuals with these certifications and experience in the field of health care.
Medical and Health Services Managers Professional Associations
The American Health Information Management Association has a lot of information for those interested in working in this field. This association has the tools and information available for certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator, which will be beneficial in the job hunt.
Medical and Health Services Salary and Wages
Earnings for medical and health services managers range widely depending on the size of the facility and the type of facility. Salaries range anywhere from $71,000 a year to $87,000 a year, with smaller nursing homes and other medical facilities generally paying the least. Most large general hospitals and surgical hospitals tend to pay more, closer to the $87,000 a year mark. However, pay will depend on a number of factors, including education, experience, and size of the facility. Salaries typically increase within a few years, after you have some experience as a medical administrator. There are also many opportunities for advancement, especially if you start out at a smaller facility. Many medical and health services managers move from being departmental managers to managers of an entire hospital, and with increased responsibility comes an increase in salary.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/