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Health Care Manager Job Description, Career as a Health Care Manager, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training Bachelor’s degree

Average Salary $67,000 per year

Job Outlook Very good

Basic Job Description

Health care managers work for hospitals, retirement homes, mental health institutions, home health care agencies, and various outpatient facilities. Managers do not specialize in one specific type of health care, but instead manage all the employees working at a specific facility and making sure they are up to date on their licenses and certifications and doing their job properly. Health care managers also represent the facility when providing the general public and investors with information on their company and services. They are in charge of maintaining the finances of an institution, maintaining a budget and implementing cutbacks, keeping patient records and papers organized and up to date, and hiring services for the facility such as housekeeping and maintenance. It is their job to make sure the establishment as a whole is running smoothly and that employees are performing all of their duties.

Education and Training Requirements

Health care managers are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in health sciences or a related field. Since they handle more of the business aspect behind an institution rather than perform medical procedures, many also concentrate their studies on business management to gain an understanding of how to maintain a company budget and how to properly keep paperwork organized and up to date.

Health care managers are required to take a state administered examination to obtain a certification through the Registered Health Information Administrator.

High school students who plan to work in the health care management field should take courses in biology, chemistry, business or other health care related courses.

Getting the Job

Health care managers must first have a desire to work with people and help them achieve an overall improved quality of life. They must have a great deal of patience and compassion to give patients a sense of comfort and belonging in their environment, particularly those who are elderly or mentally disabled. Managers must also have excellent written and oral communication skills. It is often them that will have to hire and terminate employees, speak with patients regarding questions or concerns and handle all relations between patients and employees.

Health care managers must also have an excellent sense of organization and how to run a business. They need to keep paperwork and finances organized to keep the business running smoothly and efficiently. Since managers work with paperwork that contains confidential patient information, they must also respect the importance of confidentiality and be capable of keeping paperwork secure.

Many health care managers start off working in the health care field by volunteering during school at hospitals, nursing homes or other medical facilities. This helps them to develop an understanding for how a medical establishment needs to be run and the types of operations that are performed on a day to day basis.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Health care managers can advance their career by moving up in their place of employment to manage more people and departments, or by moving on to work as a manager at a larger establishment or hospital. Health care managers can also advance their education to become a director of an entire establishment or hospital department. Most directors have Doctorate degrees in their field, so education advancements are required for anyone who plans to advance to the position of a director.

Employment outlook for health care managers is expected to increase over the next several years due to many advancements and diversifications in the health care industry. More positions will open up for managers in home health care agencies, group practices, and HMO facilities. Employment for managers in hospitals is expected to decrease as more patients are looking for home care or care within a smaller, more personal facility.

Working Conditions and Environment

Health care managers often work long hours in their medical facility. They often have to stay late at night to help manage employees who are working the night shift, and occasionally they will work all through the night if there are more patients in need of special care at night. Managers spend most of their day time work hours doing paperwork, maintaining a budget and scheduling rotation shifts for employees.

Health care managers need to be excellent multi taskers that can perform a variety of jobs at once. They may be busy filling out paperwork when a nurse comes in and they have to quickly find a replacement. In emergency situations, the manager may have to fill in for a nurse and perform duties that they are qualified to perform. Due to the fast paced environment and number of employees and patients in a facility, health care managers must be able to work under pressure and in a high-stress environment.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a health care manager is about $67,000 per year. The salary of a manager varies according to the type of facility they manage and the number of employees they have working for them. Those who work in large mental health institutions will make significantly more than those who work for a small home care facility.

Health care managers usually receive excellent benefits packages in return for their hard work and long hours. Most employers provide them with a full health insurance plan as well as vacation and sick leave allowance that varies according to shifts and hours worked.

Where to Go for More Information

American College of Health Care Executives
One North Franklin Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 424-2800

American College of Health Care Administrators
300 North Lee Street, Suite 301
Alexandria, VA 22314
(888) 882-2422

Professional Association of Health Care Office Management
1576 Bella Cruz Drive, Suite 360
Lady Lake, FL 32159
(800) 451-9311

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHealth & Medicine