Health and Hospital Administration CurriculumInformation compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated September 2010
Studying In the Field
Students who study health and hospital administration prepare themselves for a career that is not only exciting, but vital to the lives of hundreds, or even thousands, of people. Hospitals, after all, are businesses, and though their fundamental purpose, helping people in times of physical or mental need, is as altruistic as it gets, they still must be administered in responsible and fiscally sound ways. Therefore hospital administrators, overseeing the operation of all manner of health facilities large and small, including health clinics, hospices, and substance rehabilitation centers, plays an instrumental role in saving lives. They just do it in suits rather than scrubs.
Health and hospital administration includes a variety of activities, from the evaluation and management of medical and non-medical hospital employees, public relations, development of improved systems for the administration of the hospital, and work with the computer systems and other technologies used in the field. This is the perfect field for those with a strong appetite for knowledge and the ability to multi-task in an often stressful environment.
Because of the importance and complicated nature of of the work, there are many levels of education that must be attained in order to work as a fully licensed hospital administrator. Though most hospital administrators have earned a Master's degree in health and hospital administration, many choose to work for a while in the field immediately following the attainment of their Bachelor's degree. This affords them the opportunity to experience the rigors of the field first-hand before committing all the time and money necessary for graduate-level study. Classes most future hospital administrators take include health-care services, human-resources management, health-care advocacy, and rehabilitation, among many others. And because of the complex nature of the work, it is incumbent on the administrator to continually stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies that are relevant to their field.
Job Opportunities In the Field
The opportunities for employment in the field of health and hospital administration are quite good. In fact, as the Baby Boom generation continues to grow older, and therefore requires more medical assistance, hospitals will need to be administered at higher levels now than ever before. And aside from working in the administrative aspect of the field, other opportunities certainly exist. These include "Finance, Performance Improvement, Patient Care Services, Patient Satisfaction Initiatives, Patient Safety, Research, Community Affairs, Special Projects (e.g., bed tracking, physician surveys, etc.)," and many more (University of Pennsylvania). Therefore, the direction in which the student chooses to go following attainment of the degree is largely based on his or her strengths and what he or she most enjoys.
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