Are You Ready for a Career in Healthcare Management?

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While times are tough and good jobs are hard to come by, certain healthcare fields offer a ray of hope for those with degrees and credentials. One position that will be in demand is Health Care Manager, which is expected to grow 22 percent through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Positions that previously required only a bachelor’s degree now call for a master’s degree. Each year, about 2,000 students receive graduate degrees in healthcare management. To land an executive position,you’ll need to find ways to stand out from the crowd. A recent Rasmussen College article charted the 15 Skills You Need to Land a Job in Healthcare Management. Patient care, case management, treatment planning and nurse management topped the list, with business development and medical coding being the least critical.

What’s important to note is that healthcare is changing faster than virtually any other field. This includes evolutionary changes in how and where care is delivered, the people providing care, and how that care is being paid for. Treads affecting healthcare management are varied and include:

  • Combining healthcare delivery options to make care more accessible for various demographic groups like the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions and special needs patients.
  • Continuing advances in medical technology, devices and medications.
  • Closer integration of provider groups, medical practitioners, and insurers to improve the health of a community as a whole.
  • Greater emphasis on disease prevention and proactive measures to improve wellness.
  • The huge "Baby Boomer" bubble that will need medical care.
  • The increased reliance on Physician Assistants to take up the shortage of physicians as Obamacare expands the national patient pool.
  • More informed patients who will demand better, more accountable medical care.
  • Cost containment efforts as more people become insured.

Healthcare executives will be needed to fill the increasingly diverse positions in healthcare management. While the demand is there, the competition for these jobs will be fierce. To land a job as an executive, you’ll need to set yourself apart from the horde of college grads all eager to enter and move up in the field. Besides the career skills mentioned above, you'll also need to:

Hone your people skills. To land a job and rise to the top, you’ll need to get along with employees, physicians, vendors, governing boards, and the public. You’ll need to know when to listen and when to make a point with confidence to sell an idea or concept.

Develop strong leadership skills. Learn to motivate people and get them to follow your lead.  Develop the art of compromise and how to enroll people in your ideas and plans. Learn how to evaluate people under you and assign tasks based on your appraisal of their abilities.

Boost your quantitative skills. The higher you move up in healthcare management, the more you’ll deal with budgets and other financial issues. You’ll need to gain a solid grasp of financial strategies and accounting principles, and how to interpret data and budget projections. You’ll need to stay current on reimbursement trends and the latest developments in healthcare policy. As health exchanges are brought up to speed, you’ll need to know how they impact your organization.

Want to pursue a career in healthcare management? Set yourself apart by acquiring and honing the skills you’ll need as an executive in this field.

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