Students may find the following useful as “food for thought” when considering, or preparing for, a career in health care administration.
Health care administration is administration or management that is applied in the health care industry. The same basic management principles, and personal skills and attributes, apply for a successful career in health care administration as they do for a successful administrative career in other industries.
In addition to the explanatory material available for the Health Care Administration Program on the University of Toledo website, students may wish to review the “health services managers” career outlook as viewed by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The website is www.bls.gov. Click (1) Occupations; (2) Occupational Outlook Handbook; (3) Occupations: Management; (4) Medical and Health Services Managers.
Prior to enrolling in the Health Care Administration Program, students may find it helpful to interview at least one health care executive in their home town, or elsewhere, to get perspectives on the health care administration field, including its rewards and challenges. Among helpful personal characteristics and attributes that can contribute to a successful career in health care administration are being a “people person”; a person of integrity; a hard worker; goal oriented; responsible; tactful; skillful in writing and speaking; analytical; and a person with a positive, “can do” attitude.
A high college grade point average on one’s resume can be helpful early on in one’s career, since the graduate often has little, if any, health care work experience in which to market herself/himself. The importance of the grade point average diminishes considerably as an individual achieves successful work experience.
Students should consider actively participating in student organizations, such as student government, and those organizations that relate to their career (such as management and business-related organizations). Becoming an officer in such organizations relates to leadership abilities, and further helps to strengthen a person’s resume, and marketability.
Achieving practical, “real world” experience in the health care environment prior to graduation can also be helpful when seeking employment following graduation. The senior year health care administration “Internship” provides some practical experience. In addition, having other experience, either paid or voluntary, in the health care field (hospital, nursing home, health care insurance company, etc.), can be very positive. Students should consider building their health care experience, and resume, by obtaining practical health care administration experience prior to graduation (which can include summer job experience and/or volunteer work for a health care organization).