Switching to a Career on the Business Side of Healthcare

Healthcare attracts a lot of people who want to help others and make a difference along the way. If you are attracted to this side of healthcare, then your likely career path is in medicine, nursing, or pharmacy. However, the business side of healthcare is equally important. It is what allows practitioners to get paid, the healthcare institutions we love to keep running, and for advanced research to keep going. If you want to switch from a career in business to a career on the business side of healthcare, we have put together a definitive guide on everything you need to know about making the switch.

Switching to Healthcare Management: Make a Difference

There are several reasons why people choose to switch to healthcare. A common reason is that they want to make a real difference in the world. Healthcare institutions that have great management will often run much better. By ensuring these institutions run efficiently while utilizing their resources in the best way possible, healthcare managers can make a difference this way.

Additionally, business managers can make a difference in healthcare by helping to set up and enforce rules and policies that improve patient care, advocacy, and safety.

Rewarding Career

The other reason why people choose healthcare management is that the switch often leads to a very rewarding career. In addition to making a difference in healthcare, healthcare managers are often relied upon by everyone around them to ensure operations run smoothly and that financial and policy matters are taken care of.  Seeing a healthcare institution running efficiently and as it should is often a source of immense joy and satisfaction for a lot of healthcare managers.

Career Stability

Businesses come and go, whole industries can be decimated by technology changes, but healthcare is here to stay. Healthcare jobs have a much better outlook as well as career stability and longevity than other industries.

Because people will always need doctors and nurses and these professionals need hospitals, there will always be a high demand for healthcare managers to ensure everything keeps running as it should.

It Can Help You Transition to Other Positions

Hospitals and other healthcare institutions are not the only organizations looking for healthcare managers. Healthcare insurance companies. Clinics and long-term care facilities are also looking for healthcare managers. By switching to a career in healthcare management, you can open up potential career opportunities in other industries.

Income Potential

To become a healthcare manager, you need an MBA in Healthcare Management. Those who hold this master’s degree often have better income potential and outlook than most other people working in healthcare. The average salary for a medical and healthcare manager is $89,000, and it can be as high as $160,000, depending on experience, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you are looking for a healthcare job that is rewarding, challenging, fast-paced, and that has a great salary outlook but do not want to go into patient care, healthcare management might be right for you.

Getting Into Healthcare Management: Assessing Your Current Skills and Experience

Getting an MBA in healthcare management is the best way to get into the business side of healthcare. An MBA will land you in a managerial role and help you start your healthcare career from there. However, there are requirements for enrolling in the MBA. You need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in business and a current resume.

You also need to ensure that your skills and experience are enough to run a whole hospital. This is because there are key differences between running a traditional business and running a hospital, with the latter coming with a unique set of challenges.

If you have the qualifications, then the next step is completing an MBA with a focus on healthcare management.

Completing Your MBA

If you meet the minimum requirements discussed above, you can apply to an MBA in healthcare management program. Many of these programs are available online and are offered by accredited universities and colleges. Enrolling in such an online degree saves you some money and ensures you keep working, as many of these programs are 100% online.

Most MBA in healthcare management programs take about a year to complete and they take the business knowledge you already have and teach you how to apply it to the healthcare industry. Do not expect to learn anything medical here as your primary focus will be the business end of healthcare management.

Choose the Roles You Are Interested In

Having an MBA in healthcare management ensures that you can get almost any job within the business side of healthcare. These include positions in finance, consulting, marketing, operations hospital informatics, and so many others. It is, therefore, not enough to say that you would like to get into the business side of healthcare. You also have to know what roles you would like to take.

These roles will be largely dictated by the list of skills and experiences outlined above. Ideally, an MBA in healthcare management will arm you with the skills and knowledge to work in various positions in healthcare management. However, you need to understand how the skills, expertise, and experience you already have fit each of these positions. This will make finding a job less tedious, as you can use these criteria to reduce the number of applications you send.

Have a Targeted Resume

At this point, you know what skills, expertise, and experience you have as well as the healthcare roles you are most interested in. Start polishing your resume for the chosen position. If your resume has an objective section, as it should, be sure to state clearly that you are interested in a specific role in healthcare.

Second, you need to indicate whether you have any experience in healthcare. Although some experience will give you some advantages, hospitals hiring MBA holders for business positions will not mandate that you have any experience in healthcare. However, most will require that you have the right skills for the positions you are applying for. It is important to list skills that best fit the position you are looking for at the top and then list other relevant or applicable skills you have below.

Expect an Informal Hiring Process

Some healthcare organizations will require that you send your resume and come in for a formal interview while for many the process is a lot more formal. This is because, in contrast to other organizations that have clear processes for hiring MBAs, this recruiting process is new or non-existent in many healthcare organizations.

Because of this, the hiring process for MBAs in healthcare is somewhat fragmented. This means that although the recruitment process might look foreign to you and be challenging, it is much easier to get into the positions you want to because there is little competition for those positions in healthcare, especially if the positions require MBA holders.

Your chances rely heavily on your networking skills. Networking can help showcase your passion and drive to have a successful healthcare career, and this can come in handy, especially if you can talk to the right people. Networking also puts you in the minds of healthcare leaders, so they think of you when opportunities open up.

Networking is also important for learning what other qualifications or certifications you need to land the positions you are interested in. By staying in the loop like this, you can give yourself added advantage, even if you have never been in the healthcare industry before.

Have some Industry Knowledge

Whether you go through a formal or informal interview process, you need to have some industry knowledge. You need to be knowledgeable about the role you are interviewing for, what it entails as well as knowledge about the subset of healthcare management you are getting into.

Additionally, you need to have some knowledge about the latest happenings in healthcare. Healthcare is always changing, and in your new role, you need to know how to work within these changes as well as new rules and regulations.

You also need to understand how events outside healthcare affect the industry. These include things like government policies, public sentiments as well as passed legislation. Healthcare affects the public and so it works with the government a lot. Not staying up to date on the latest happenings can be detrimental to your chances of landing the roles you are interested in.

Extensive research and networking can help you know what is going on in the healthcare industry, so you can form your own opinions as well as know what is going on before the interview process.

Switching from a  career in business to one in healthcare should not be such a jarring change, especially if you are switching to the business side of healthcare. No matter the reasons you have for wanting to follow this career path, you need to earn an MBA in healthcare administration, network extensively, and keep up with what is happening in the healthcare world.

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