Healthcare administration is a growing field. With the baby boomer generation aging, the need for more medical facilities continues to grow. Administrators play a key role in the daily operations of nursing homes, hospitals and other care facilities. There are two main types of administration models, which are generalist and specialist. Generalist administrators are responsible for overseeing all departments and ensuring the facility's overall success, and specialist administrators oversee specific areas or groups of areas. As a rule, specialists work in larger facilities.
Healthcare Administration Job Duties
Depending on the facilities they work for, healthcare administrators may have a small or large range of duties. In a nursing home setting, administrators handle the paperwork for new residents, manage the files of current residents to ensure quality care, hire facility workers, supervise daily operations and host continuing education sessions for employees. Administrators in smaller facilities may also help with activities, serving food and completing HR duties. In hospital settings, administrators are usually responsible for overseeing one or more departments. They must screen new hires, supervise staff and oversee the care plans for patients. Administrators may also handle complaints and communicate with suppliers. One of the most important duties they have is ensuring compliance with all federal and state regulations.
Healthcare Administration Work Environment
Specific job duties and varying types of facilities determine an administrator's work environment. In larger facilities, administrators must be able to handle a fast-paced work environment and be able to multitask. In smaller facilities, administrators may find a more relaxed pace. However, the work environment may provide more physical activity for those who are also responsible with helping during meals or conducting daily activities. As a rule, administrators spend the majority of their days behind desks completing paperwork and making phone calls. Portions of their days are spent walking the halls of the facility to speak to workers or residents. Most administrators also walk about their facilities often to visually supervise workers.
Healthcare Administration Education Requirements
In order to become a healthcare administrator, training is required. Facilities often determine what kind of administrator they need by how many patients they serve. In hospitals and nursing homes, this is usually measured by a number of beds. Smaller facilities with less than 10 beds may often require a bachelor's degree in administration or a related field. In some cases, such facilities may also accept an administration certificate coupled with several years of practical experience in a related field. While some facilities with more than 10 beds require only a bachelor's degree, many hospitals and nursing homes require a master's degree. Almost all large facilities require at least a master's degree. In addition to this, some may require specialized training or several years of experience.
Healthcare Administration Employment Outlook and Salary
The need for healthcare administrators is expected to grow more than 20 percent faster than average fields. According to the BLS, administrators earned an average hourly wage of about $40 in 2010.