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Career in Healthcare Management

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Layoffs. Bank failures. Manufacturing bankruptcies. The recent recession ravaged nearly every industry in America. With so many companies in trouble is there any industry that can offer a bright spot in this economic climate? Indeed there is! Experts say that a career in Health Care Management can endure and even prosper through good or bad financial times. The $1 trillion U.S. hospital industry continues to expand making Healthcare Management one of the fastest growing and in-demand career fields in the world today. Surveys of practicing Healthcare Managers report a high degree of satisfaction with their career choice, saying the field is richly rewarding, provides a sense of making a real difference, and offers excellent career mobility, a wide range of job opportunities, excellent job security.

Statistics Can be Fudged, But Numbers Never Lie

Currently more than 100,000 people work in healthcare management, but U.S. Department of Labor projects one out of every five jobs created in the United States during the next seven years will be in the health care sector. That means that twenty percent of all jobs in the United States will be healthcare jobs. Think about that a moment- the numbers are staggering! By 2016 health care will generate 3 million new jobs, more than any other industry. Care to even try to guess how many additional health care managers this explosive growth is going to require? While statistical data can be manipulated, the numbers never lie - the number of health care management job opportunities will be available at every level, at every variety of health care setting, is simply mind boggling. Have you ever considered becoming one?

Mid-Career Transition Encouraged

Healthcare Management thrives on diversity of career backgrounds. Hospitals, long term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, clinics, diagnostic centers, labs, research facilities, government agencies, and a growing variety of other healthcare service centers, all require healthcare managers at every level in order to function. While all hospital heads hold advanced healthcare administration degrees, the American College of Healthcare Executives says more than one in four of its member CEOs now has an MBA. Physicians and registered nurses who obtain a degree in Healthcare Management or Healthcare Administration and transition into Healthcare Management careers have the distinct advantages over their collegues without medical backgrounds because of the more encompasing perspective their background in medicine and understanding of patient needs provides.

Diverse Backgrounds?

Even without a medical or nursing degree, a career in healthcare management is still a smart move! "Most people think of doctors, nurses or specialized technicians when considering health care employment," says job consultant M.B. Owens. "But these professions are supported by a multitude of health care managers that have good job security and income." But experts caution that without an advanced degree in either healthcare management or healthcare administration it is impossible to advance into an executive Healthcare Management position at most healthcare institutions. Luckily, fully accredited degrees in Healthcare Management and Healthcare Administration are available online from a variety of universities, including some considered "Ivy League" schools. These highly affordable online degree programs provide the opportunity for working adults such as nurses, for example, to pursue a degree in healthcare management at their own pace and place, whenever convienient, and while contuing to earn a living in the process.

Healthcare Management Careers Reward And Satisfy

While salaries in this sector vary, the median salary for a health care manager was $73,340 in May 2006, the latest data available from the U.S. Labor Department. California health care CEO's earn $210,000 on average according to California's Bureau of Labor Statistics, and some large scale hospitals offer Wall Street-style salaries and perks. "Gary Mecklenburg, former CEO of Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was paid $16.4 million from September 2005 to October 2006, including a nearly $11 million retirement bonus".[1]

Healthcare Management Offers a Secure Future

When President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail he promised to overhaul the nation's healthcare system. Many in the industry were quaking in their boots, but relief arrived swiftly when the administration's stimulus package included plenty of additional job opportunities for healthcare managers, health information technology specialists, and numerous allied health professionals. The massive project of transitioning medical records from paper to electronic format will require health care management input in order to plan, coordinate, and supervise seemless implementation. With government's commitment to transform the current health care system into one that serves even more members of society, it is inevitable that careers in the health care industry, especially health care management, will be the high demand careers of the future. "Job opportunities will be above average, especially for applicants with work experience in health care and strong business and management skills," says the U.S. Department of Labor.

Improve Your Community as a Health Care Administrator

One of the amazing benefits of working in the health care industry is that your work can truly change the world. Health care managers help health systems work more efficiently which in turns helps in patient care. Health care administrators have been pioneers in advocating healthcare policy changes that seek to provide healthcare coverage for the poor, provide broader preventive care to at risk populations, and to bring about other changes to improve health care delivery to broader segments of the community and population at large.

Live an Inspirational Life

One of the main reasons people choose a career in health care management is because it provides an opportunity to have more than a just a job. People like Stephanie Lenzner, Clinical Data Administrator at a Children's Hospital, says "While difficult to determine "The Day," I became aware health administration was for me, I did know this: I loved working with people; I desired a career that would allow me to make a difference in people's lives; I wanted a fast-paced career that combined my interests in business, health and policy; and lastly I wanted to feel passionate about my work," Stephanie wrote in a testimonial for her graduate school. "I feel more passionate about my work than ever; I respect my coworkers and believe in the mission of our company; I enjoy the commitment to prevention of our clients; and I believe at some level I am making a difference in people's lives.

[1]"10 Things Hospital CEOs Won't Tell You", SmartMoney Magazine, April 21, 2009.


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