As with any field, health care involves plenty of behind-the-scenes work.
While you might only see and interact with a receptionist, a nurse, and a doctor during your visit to a medical office, there are dozens if not more other employees who all work together to make sure that you receive the care you need.
One of the most important positions that are rarely recognized is that of health services management.
Working in the background at hospitals, doctors offices, and anywhere else that healthcare is provided, these managers perform a variety of essential duties that keep offices running, schedules organized, regulations met, and more.
If you're interested in learning more about healthcare management jobs and what it takes to enter this field, keep reading.
You're Still Helping Patients in Important Ways
Many individuals seeking a career change and wanting a job that allows them to help patients turn to nursing or other hands-on positions. But hospitals and doctors offices need more than just medical aids to serve their patients.
Medical and health services managers play an equally essential part in helping people heal. They work, often behind the scenes, to keep offices running, records straight, doctors and nurses in compliance, and more.
Duties of a Health Care Services Manager
The duties of a medical and health services manager will vary widely depending on where they work and how many other managers are employed there. But many of the most important day-to-day work remains the same.
They take care of updating, maintaining, and protecting sensitive data. Without this information, doctors wouldn't have patients' medical history to help them make decisions on the course of care.
They keep offices running smoothly. This means more patients getting in and out, without anyone's information like medical records or insurance getting lost in the process.
They help offices stay up-to-date on the latest changes to healthcare laws. This is not only important for the office, but also for the patients under their care.
A medical and health services manager also hires important staff to fill in gaps, compiles office schedules, works as a go-between for patients and insurance companies when issues arise, and more.
In short, without these managers, offices wouldn't be able to operate, leaving nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals unable to help their patients.
You'll Need a Degree and Work Experience
If you've decided that a career as a health services administrator or manager is right for you, there are a few things you'll need to do before you start applying for positions.
To become a health services manager, you'll first need to obtain a bachelor's degree. This degree could be in a number of fields, including, public health, business administration, or other related areas.
Because a wide array of bachelor's degrees can be applied to this field, your current degree that you were using to pursue another degree may be enough to help you land your first position as a health services manager, as long as you also have relevant experience.
Choosing the Right Degree Program
If you don't have a bachelor's degree yet or have one but in an unrelated field, you have an endless number of options.
You could pursue your chosen degree at a brick-and-mortar university, attending traditional courses. This might be ideal for younger students who have financial support from their parents, or for those who have a spouse who can support them while they go back to school.
Another option is to attend an online college. These programs are often more flexible and allow you to complete your coursework around your own schedule. You might be able to work a full-time job, care for children or other dependents, or any other obligations you might have while still pursuing your degree.
Hybrid programs are also an option. These include a mix of online and in-person classes. Hybrid programs are more flexible than traditional programs but include more one-on-one help than online programs.
Many health services manager also have a master's degree in a related field, or several years of relevant experience, including experience in leadership positions.
Read more now to learn about getting the education you need to become a health services manager.
You Have a Chance for a Competitive Salary
Choosing a career that allows you to make a difference in the lives of patients doesn't need to mean giving up a healthy salary.
In fact, a health services management salary is not only healthy but also very competitive within the field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for medical and health services managers was $98,350 per year in 2017. That's more than 47 per hour.
Of course, your level of experience, the state or city you live in, and the type of office you choose to work in will all affect your potential salary. Some health services management positions may even be part-time positions.
But no matter where you choose to work, the salary of a health services manager is still very competitive compared to the salaries of many other positions in the medical field.
You'll Be Entering an In-Demand Field
If you think that the high salaries and rewarding work make job openings for medical and health services managers scarce, think again.
Not only are jobs plentiful, but the demand for these managers is growing each year.
Between 2016 and 2026, the number of available positions as health services managers is expected to increase by 20 percent, which is much faster than the national average for jobs in other fields.
Statistics also show that there is just a 3 percent unemployment rate among those who claim health services manager as their chosen profession. In contrast, the national unemployment rate for all fields is 4.5 percent.
Getting Started in Health Services Management
A career in health services management is both challenging and rewarding. If you have the necessary skills, experience, and education, the growing field makes it much easier to obtain a position.
You'll also have the chance to earn a competitive salary compared to many other careers in health services.
If you already have the right degree and experience, use our job search site to start looking for open positions in your area today!