What is Healthcare Administration?

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Hi Again!

So I've started a career and lifestyle blog. Seems pretty straight forward right? I am still feeling quite overwhelmed with themes and formatting, so I decided to just start writing posts and I'll figure it out along the way.

I get asked all the time about what I do. Most kids don't dream of being healthcare administrators when they grow up! And neither did I. I wanted to be a vet and then a lawyer, and then a wedding planner. I stumbled into healthcare administration before I even really knew what it was!

What I've found in a job in healthcare is a challenging career with days that always look different and a little chaotic, but are always fulfilling when you see patients and their families throughout your work week.

I thought it might be helpful to give a quick rundown about Healthcare Administration, so here it goes!

  • Healthcare organizations are at their core still businesses. Although what we do relies most heavily on doctors, nurses and other clinicians, you still need business people there to keep the doors open! 
  • Hospitals have Human Resources, Operations, Finance, Marketing, Legal and Strategic Planning just like other large companies.
  • Instead of making a product, we provide health services and ultimately our success is measured by making patients better.
  • Which means it's a complicated business model. We treat and take care of people, but their care is typically paid for by someone else (insurance companies)...and not to mention Medicine is no perfect science, so there is a lot of gray area!
  • Healthcare businesses can vary greatly. They range from large hospital systems to retirement communities to physician practices to even medical supply and pharmaceutical companies. 
So what do I personally do at work. I am an administrator for the nursing division of our hospital. I was chatting with the cashier helping me with my groceries the other day and he asked "So do you make sure the nurses get paid?"...not really but hard to explain in too much detail as he bagged my milk.
  • Some days I'm working on our yearly budget-making sure we budget for certain new supplies or to hire more nurses.
  • Sometimes, I help bring new technologies or tools to the nurse managers and leaders. I may spend some of my day walking around the nursing units and making sure they feel comfortable using a new iPad app we use for conducting daily rounds on patients and families.
  • Other days, I may be working with an interdisciplinary team to brainstorm ways to improve the flow of patients through our hospitals. 
  • Or I might be rolling up my sleeves to help with an appreciation event for our Nurse Practitioners. 
  • Truly every day is different, so I never get bored!
That's healthcare administration in a nut shell! Healthcare administration is a growing field with plenty of opportunity for early careerists. If you want to work in an ever-changing work environment that will challenge you while supporting a worthy cause, then it may be a career path worth exploring!

And if you're lucky, you'll occasionally get to take a tour of an operating room and wear scrubs (aka pajamas) at work...



'Til next time! 

Charlotte

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