There is a growing need for healthcare workers, and there are likewise numerous opportunities to work in the industry without becoming a nurse, doctor, physician’s assistant or another role that directly serves patients. Hospitals and healthcare systems are massive entities with leadership roles overseeing back-end data, hiring and operations, managing workflow and implementing new efficiency measures and improvements.
Two prominent roles include healthcare administrators and healthcare managers. Both roles typically require a bachelor’s degree that can be earned online from University of Phoenix. But first, it’s important to understand the differences between these two essential support roles that make sure a hospital, clinic or other medical facility functions at its best.
Understanding the Role of a Healthcare Administrator
A healthcare administrator is needed to manage the back-end operations of a healthcare facility. They may be involved in managing staff, overseeing the hiring process, managing the facility’s IT and data systems and maintaining quality of care for patients. Healthcare administrators may also oversee professional development opportunities for staff as well as managing schedules and reviewing employee performance.
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This role can be thought of as a parallel to business administrators in that they often have a core business area of focus like sales, human resources or information technology. But unlike their business counterparts, healthcare administrators do not get directly involved in the big-picture business decisions. That role belongs to healthcare managers.
Degree Options for Becoming a Healthcare Administrator
The road to becoming a healthcare administrator, which includes such jobs as patient advocate, quality assurance specialist, scheduling manager, medical records and informatics director and community health administrator, can begin with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. University of Phoenix’s online Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration degree program has the flexibility to meet the needs of working adults. The four-year program can be started at any time and comes with four elective track options: health administration, lifespan management, healthcare information systems and retail health management.
Regardless of the chosen track, the bachelor’s in healthcare administration can confer skills including business management, communications, compliance, finance, information management, leadership and strategic planning. University of Phoenix’s program emphasizes skills-aligned learning, in which coursework has been specifically aligned to teach the skills most sought after by employers. For example, a course in Medical Terminology for Healthcare Professionals aligns with three skills: communication, or learning industry language; health administration, or describing the structure, services and functions of the healthcare industry; and medical records, or understanding the importance of compliance around patient data.
Additional higher level degrees are also available as graduates look to expand their career options and qualify for more senior roles. These include a master’s and a doctoral degree program in health administration.
Steps to Becoming a Healthcare Manager
A healthcare manager is involved in running the business aspects of a healthcare facility. This can include managing finances and payroll, overseeing the facility and equipment purchases, managing hiring and employee services and other roles that involve maintenance and operations. While healthcare administrators are involved in some aspects of a hospital or healthcare facility’s finances, namely those that pertain to budgets and salaries, healthcare managers are interested in the hospital or medical center’s profitability and strategy for increasing profits.
Building the foundation for a career in healthcare management, which can include as a compliance manager, finance manager or practice manager, starts with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management. The online Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree program from University of Phoenix provides the necessary coursework to take those initial steps, with flexible start dates and classes that can be taken at times that best meet the needs of busy, working adults. Those who enroll can learn necessary skills such as compliance, finance, management and technology and can easily continue on their academic and career trajectory with a master’s in health and business administration dual degree and a doctoral degree in business administration.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is committed to advancing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and provides maximum support for transfer students to reach their goals affordably. The University offers numerous associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs that prepare students for in-demand careers in fields including criminal justice, business, healthcare, education, information technology, cybersecurity and public administration. Flexible schedules with multiple start dates give working adults the opportunity to complete their degree without putting their lives on hold. University of Phoenix offers numerous scholarship opportunities, online learning, career-guided degree programs and a Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates to help them more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.