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Hospital Administrator Career

Hospital Administrator Job Description

Hospital Administrators, often known as health care administrators or health care executives, are responsible for planning, directing, and supervising the delivery of health care within a hospital, outpatient clinic, hospice, or drug-abuse treatment center. In large hospitals, there may be several administrators known as specialists, one for each department where as in smaller facilities, they may act as generalists and oversee the day-to-day operations of all departments. A Master's Degree in Health Care Administration or Health Care Management is the standard credential for most positions, although a bachelor's degree is adequate for some entry-level positions in smaller facilities and in health information management. [Find bachelor's degrees in Health Administration]

Hospital Administrators are in charge of making sure hospitals operate efficiently while providing adequate medical care to patients. Hospital Administrator Job responsibilities include recruiting, hiring, and often training doctors, nurses, interns, and assistant administrators. Hospital Administrators plan budgets and set rates for health care services offered at their facilities or within their department. Administrators plan departmental activities, evaluate doctors and other hospital employees, create and maintain policies, help develop protocols for medical treatments, quality assurance, patient services, and public relations activities. Since hospitals are open twenty-four hours a day, hospital administrators often work long and irregular hours.

As the structure and finance management of health care continues to change, hospital administrators must be able to keep up with the evolving integrated health care delivery systems, technological innovations, a complex regulatory environment, health insurance changes, and an increased focus on preventive care for patients. They will be called on to improve efficiency in health care facilities and the quality of the health care provided.

How to Become a Hospital Administrator

If you would like to become a Hospital Administrator, you are best off pursuing an degree in Health Care Administration, Health Management, Health Services, Public Health, or even Business Administration. Individuals with a Master's Degree in Health Administration will have the most opportunities within a hospital and may start as a department manager or as staff. In addition, the experience of the person and the size of the organization will help determine where exactly you will be placed within a hospital. Many hospitals offer postgraduate residencies and fellowships, which usually are staff positions.

Graduates with bachelor's degrees in health administration usually begin their hospital administration careers as administrative assistants or assistant department heads in larger hospitals. They also may begin as department heads or assistant administrators in small hospitals or nursing care facilities. Medical and health services managers advance by moving into more responsible and higher paying positions, such as assistant or associate administrator, department head, or CEO, or by moving to larger facilities.

Hospital Administrator Salary Information

Hospital Administration Jobs are expected to grow faster than average through 2018. Hospitals will continue to employ the most administrators over this period, however, the number of new jobs created is expected to increase at a slower rate in hospitals than in many other facilities because of the growth and utilization of outpatient clinics. Despite this, a large number of new jobs will be created because of the industry's large size. As hospitals become increasingly complex, those with experience and education will have the best job opportunities.

According to a survey by Modern Healthcare magazine, median annual salaries for hospital administrators of selected clinical departments was $76,800 in respiratory care, $81,100 in physical therapy, $87,700 in home health care, $88,800 in laboratory services, $90,200 in long-term care, $93,500 in medical imaging/diagnostic radiology, $94,400 in rehabilitation services, $95,200 in cancer treatment facilities, $96,200 in cardiology, $102,800 in nursing services, and $113,200 in pharmacies. Compensation also varied according to size of facility and geographic region.

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