The COVID-19 pandemic put healthcare front and center in everyone’s minds. From debates about slowing the spread of the virus to assessments of how best to provide care to sick people, the entire world now knows how important healthcare workers are.
However, healthcare managers also play a critical role in fighting disease and saving lives. Rapid, intelligent decision-making colors everyone’s healthcare experience and plays a critical role in how — and how well — doctors and other providers do their jobs.
If you’re interested in healthcare but don’t want to be a provider, a healthcare management degree puts you on the front lines of healthcare, preparing you to serve in a wide range of roles. Jobs in this lucrative sector are rapidly growing, with median salaries reaching $104,280 in 2020.
What is a Healthcare Management Degree at SNU?
Healthcare managers oversee the daily operations of healthcare organizations, ranging from small rural health clinics to the largest hospitals in the world. The specific daily work they conduct varies depending on the organization they work for.
For example, if a manager runs a large health conglomerate, they may have to present to a board of directors. Conversely, running a smaller medical practice may involve coaching employees and interacting directly with patients.
Some typical tasks include:
- Establishing organizational policies, including overseeing daily operations.
- Streamlining processes and cutting costs without affecting quality.
- Working with providers to establish crisis policies.
- Ensuring the organization complies with relevant policies and regulations.
- Managing staff, including other administrative staff.
- Representing the organization at public events, hearings or board meetings.
- Overseeing budgets.
- Supervising department heads.
- Reviewing organizational policies.
- Managing and responding to external feedback from regulators, patients and the media.
This is an ideal job for people who are interested in healthcare policy and want to improve health outcomes, but who may not want to treat patients or get into the science of health. Some attributes that can help you thrive in this career include:
- The ability to lead.
- The ability to communicate effectively.
- The ability to set and achieve specific goals guided by policy.
- An interest in law, management and ethics.
- A comfort in interacting with and managing a wide range of people.
- An interest in improving healthcare facilities and outcomes.
SNU’s MBA in healthcare management offers a wide range of courses to prepare you for the daily challenges of running a health service organization. You will learn about business, healthcare and the intersection of the two. Some classes you’ll take include:
- Accounting & Finance for Healthcare Decision-Making
- Business Essentials
- Ethics and Law
- Exploring Business Strategies
- Healthcare Operations
- Healthcare Systems: Policies and Regulations
- Management Analytics
- Social Issues in Healthcare Administration
You’ll finish your degree with a capstone project, during which you manage real-world healthcare management issues to prepare you for the myriad challenges your career will present.
If you’re still on the fence, here are five reasons to consider a degree in healthcare management:
1. To Set Healthcare Policy
One of the most essential roles of a healthcare administrator is setting organizational policy. This means you might, for example, establish guidelines for overcrowding, review care standards with providers and establish operational procedures that ensure you comply with all relevant laws and regulations.
Healthcare policy affects every aspect of the patient experience. Good policy saves lives, whereas bad policy delays and undermines care, potentially claiming lives. By setting policies in healthcare organizations, you improve healthcare efficiency and quality. It’s a meaningful change to be a part of the solution to healthcare overcrowding and efficiency. You’ll be able to innovate, see how your ideas affect real people and potentially save lives.
2. To Support Medical Providers
Spend any time at all talking to healthcare providers, and you’ll soon hear them talk about burnout thanks to massive patient loads, poor administrative oversight, lack of appreciation and chronic stress. This burnout is spurring a real crisis in healthcare. Doctors are leaving medicine, and there is an ongoing nursing shortage. Suicide rates continue to rise among health workers. And patients are caught in the mix, wondering why they have to wait so long at the doctor only to encounter a provider who’s stressed, burned out and too busy to manage serious health issues.
Health administrators who truly understand the needs of health providers can push back against policies that harm providers. You can support doctors, nurses and other health workers by listening to them, then building an organization that prioritizes their needs so they can better tend to patients. Solving the many problems in healthcare begins with compassionate administrators who are willing to test out new ways of doing things.
3. To Earn Exceptional Wages
Healthcare administrators have exceptionally high earnings. In 2020, median annual earnings were above $100,000. If you work at a large health organization, your earnings may be many times more than this figure. Even if you start at a lower number, the massive growth potential in this career means that you can quickly ascend the corporate ladder and earn more.
4. To Improve Patient Care
Data on patient outcomes in hospitals and other large health organizations are depressing. Many patients emerge from hospital stays frustrated with their experience, anxious about massive bills and unsure what to do next to ensure their long-term health.
Although it’s easy to blame doctors for these problems, many challenges begin at the policy level. Doctors who are incentivized to rush things or forced to focus on the wrong metrics cannot provide quality care. The right policies can improve patient satisfaction and the quality of their care.
5. To Achieve Job Growth
Healthcare careers are among the fastest growing in the country, and healthcare management is accelerating at an even more rapid pace. Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that healthcare management jobs will grow by 32%. This means that there will be plenty of job opportunities when you graduate and for many years after.
Moreover, it’s a job seeker’s market. With so many jobs available, job seekers have the upper hand, allowing them to ask for better wages and benefits in an increasingly competitive market.
Massive growth in this industry also means plenty of room for you to grow in your career. The career ladder is high, with numerous opportunities at some of the most successful organizations in the world. No matter what you do or what you’re good at, there is plenty of room to grow. That means gaining new skills and accessing many money-making opportunities.
Pursuing a Healthcare Degree at SNU
SNU is committed to training a generation of innovative, thoughtful and compassionate health leaders. We believe that healthcare organizations are best served by leaders from diverse backgrounds. That is why we are committed to helping every potential student find a path forward.
SNU offers different degrees in healthcare to fit your education needs. Whether it’s diving into the Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration, or exploring our Master of Business Administration in Healthcare, we prepare individuals to be healthcare leaders at every level.
We would love to help you explore your options for financial aid and talk to you about your career goals. Contact us to learn more, or apply now to open a door to your brighter tomorrow.