Many people who want to work in the health care industry think that they need to pursue nursing or medical degrees so that they can work closely with patients. Not everyone who has an interest in health care, however, wants to practice medicine. If you’re interested in health care but don’t want to earn a degree in medicine or nursing, then you might want to enroll in a master’s of health administration (MHA) program.
Health care administrators play crucial roles in hospitals and doctor’s offices. Depending on your specific interests, you might choose to pursue a career path that lets you lower costs for patients, coordinate a medical staff’s efforts, or make sure that all patients receive exceptional care.
Nurses and doctors don’t always think about the financial ramifications of their decisions, so they sometimes choose to treat patients in ways that lead to expensive health care bills. After earning your MHA, you could work with a task force that establishes treatment guidelines designed to make health care more affordable for patients without sacrificing quality. You’ll need to approach the problem in a creative way that considers how a policy will affect your organization, patients, and your staff. It’s a difficult job, but positive results could make health care more affordable in the United States.
Getting your MHA could also teach you the skills you need to coordinate the efforts of nurses, doctors, and other staff members. Even the best doctors need someone to manage them. Without management, they wouldn’t have the ability to review a patient’s medical history, learn what services a patient has already received, or provide a high level of care that identifies and solves health problems. Enforcing a system that makes it easier for staff members to coordinate their efforts is perhaps one of the most important things that health care managers can do.
Health administration professionals can also review patient outcomes to make sure that their organizations follow suitable policies. As medical technology evolves, you may need to adjust policies so that more patients receive the care they need so that they can enjoy healthy lives. You might not know how to administer health interventions, but you can research outcomes to evaluate your organization. If you find that some patients receive inadequate care, then you get to explore the underlying causes to find effective solutions.
With so many opportunities in the health care industry, it makes sense for you to consider career paths beyond becoming a nurse or a doctor. You can develop abilities that nurses and doctors don’t have and that keep the health care facility running smoothly. Such skills form the foundation of a reliable health care system that keeps costs under control while maximizing the types of services that patients receive. Just because you don’t touch patients doesn’t mean that you don’t help them stay healthy.
Read this infographic, published by the University of Southern California Online, to learn more about the potential career paths that you can take after earning an MHA. You might discover opportunities that you didn’t even know you could pursue.