Hospital Administrator

Management positions in public healthcare offer individuals a way to find steady employment that is also rewarding.  Administrative positions can evaluate cost benefits and thus help to create better access to healthcare for the public.  As a direct result of this operational supervision, communities can grow in terms of economic stability and overall wellness.

Public healthcare is one of the few employment fields that continues to experience employment opportunities even in difficult times.  By properly managing facilities and the provision of services, more public needs can be met and a greater part of the population can have access to care.  A position as a hospital administrator lets you help the public receive the care they need, and gives you a career path that you can easily grow into.

What Is A Hospital Administrator?

 A hospital administrator oversees the operations of a health facility.  This will include clerical work such as entering and updating patient and staff records as well as keeping track of resources such as equipment and patient beds.  Hospital administrators will also be in charge of staffing concerns and scheduling employees to provide patient services.

In this operational position, hospital administrators also handle the financial concerns of the facility.  This may include allocating funds to different departments, and also securing monetary backing from different groups in the community and government aid.  In many cases, this position will also require performance evaluations to ensure that care services are done with efficiency and according to best practices.

Hospital administrators have the following tasks as part of the job description:

  •   Oversee staff and provide input for more efficient function.
  •   Evaluate protocols and determine if best practices are being applied.
  •   Generate schedules for the facility staff.
  •   Report to governing board and investors regarding productivity and quality of services.
  •   Manage finances for the facility.

Characteristics

These professional qualities are also a part of working as a hospital administrator:

  •   Leadership skills:  As a supervisor, you will be required to guide your staff and hold individuals accountable for their progress and actions.
  •   Organization:  You will need to be able to keep track of all the information that pertains to running a hospital facility. 
  •   Communication:  You will need to be able to convey information concisely and clearly.  You will also need to be able to do this in a written and verbal format. 
  •   Problem solving:  Overcoming obstacle is key to creating efficient practices.  This will require that you can address issues with viable solutions that will provide the greatest benefits. 

Nature Of The Work

Hospital administrators will work within the facility, but much of this job is performed in an office setting.  This will allow you to evaluate data on benefits and returns, and also determine the best use of resources.  Scheduling and data entry will occur at the computer terminal, as will the creation of progress reports and assessments on meeting goals.

You will also be working within the clinical setting of the facility to evaluate performance and monitor quality control.  Hospital administrators will often need to hold staff meetings in order to convey initiatives from management and to provide any information about policy changes.  Attending hospital board meetings is also a part of this job.

Education And Training

Although some hospital administrators may find employment with a four year Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years experience in healthcare administration, higher learning is generally preferred by most employers.  For many candidates, this translates into an MBA and extensive internship participation.  Educational focus should include healthcare administration, business management, and best practices for the provision of health services.  Some experience in program, management may also be beneficial for general hiring and for advancement.

Licensing and certifications for hospital administrators is becoming a much more common practice.  Even if your immediate employer does not require this, you may want to pursue obtaining your license in healthcare administration as a proactive measure for possible changes in the law.  This will require proof of clinical credit hours and a successful management record for prior projects, as well as a board examination for the eventual licensure.  You will also be required to participate in continuing education to maintain your licensure.

Hospital administrators are in great demand in the field of public health, as your efforts will help to provide more efficient and quality services to a greater part of the community.  Starting pay for administrators with only a Bachelor’s degree is around $40,000 a year.  Entry level salary for candidates with an MBA may be as much as $88,000, and advancement can bring these figures to well over $100,000.  Growth in employment demands in this field will also keep salaries rising over the next ten years.

Hiring prospects for hospital administrators is equally favorable.  The expectation is that employment in this sector will increase by around 23% between 2012 and 2022.  This number does include both entry level and advancement positions, which can allow you to gain further expertise while on the job.  For a career track that offers great rewards in community service, as well as high advancement rates and a sound salary, you may wish to consider the position of hospital administrator as a good investment in your future, and the future of public health.


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