A health services administrator plans, coordinates and supervises the delivery of health care. This kind of administrator may specialize in overseeing a specific department or generalize and manage an entire facility
In a small facility such as a nursing home or rehabilitation center, health services administrators handle much of the day-to-day operations including patient contact. In a larger facility such as a hospital, they usually operate on a tier system, with several assistant administrators directing one aspect of the clinical setting such as surgery, and then reporting to one head administrator.
Regardless of where they work and the specialties they choose, health services administrators must be highly educated. Most administrators hold a master’s degree in health services administration or related field.
The first step is usually earning a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position at a smaller facility. All states require health services administrators working in a nursing care facilities to pass a licensing examination. A good deal of the core courses for health services can be taken online, saving both time and money for the student.
Despite their humanitarian mission, health clinics and hospitals are still businesses that must be run well and monitored carefully. Health services administrators keep these facilities operating smoothly.
Demand for health services administrators continues to increase as the need for improved efficiency, technical innovations, enforcement of complex governmental regulations and increased focus on preventative care.
Other duties of a health services administrator include:
Health services administrators spend years on their education, but they are compensated for that sacrifice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for a health services administrator was $73,340 as of May 2006.
With the aging population, jobs in the medical field are expected to grow faster than average through 2016. Growth is expected at 16% with hospitals experiencing slower growth than clinics and out-patient care facilities.