A clinical manager keeps a health care business running smoothly. They may work in a hospital, clinic or outpatient facility, managing a specific department within that facility.
Clinical managers are specialists that use their years of experience and extensive education to supervise the delivery of health care in both the public and private sectors. Most clinical managers start their careers in medicine—as surgeons, nurses or physical therapists to name a few—and then add a higher degree in a related field to broaden their management experience. Unlike most medical education, many courses are offered online that enable a medical professional to transition into management.
Becoming a clinical manager requires education and experience in a specific medical field. Most managers will work for several years in their specialty before adding the management component. For example, a clinical manager in nursing will work many years as a nurse and then supplement that experience with a degree in health administration or public health. Clinical managers in larger hospitals or medical facilities will need a degree in their specialty, years of experience and then a master’s degree in healthcare administration or a related field.
Hospitals and health clinics are businesses that need to be run well in order to continue caring for patients. Clinical managers work to keep them on track. They coordinate and supervise almost all aspects of health care for a particular department within the facility. Duties of a clinical manager include:
Clinical managers in smaller facilities such as a rehabilitation center will handle more of the day-to-day operations, while managers in a large hospital will focus on how their department works as a component of the overall patient care.
Because clinical managers will have backgrounds as surgeons, nurses and therapists among others, salaries vary widely. A surgeon working as a clinical manager in a large urban hospital will earn considerably more than a clinical manager in physical therapy in a small outpatient clinic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for clinical managers was $78,660 in May of 2006.
With the baby-boomer population aging, jobs in the medical field are expected to grow faster than average. Clinical management positions should see a 16% increase through 2016, with their salaries climbing accordingly.