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Go From Exam Room to Administration Office

Go From Exam Room to Administration Office

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What Degree Do I Need?

Clinical Managers: Clinical managers have more specific responsibilities than do generalists, and have training or experience in a specific clinical area. For example, directors of physical therapy are experienced physical therapists, and most health information and medical record administrators have a bachelor’s degree in health information or medical records administration. Clinical managers establish and implement policies, objectives and procedures for their departments; evaluate personnel and work; develop reports and budgets; and coordinate activities with other managers.

For clinical department heads, a degree in the appropriate field and work experience may be sufficient for entry. However, a master’s degree in health services administration or a related field may be required to advance. For example, nursing service administrators usually are chosen from among supervisory registered nurses with administrative abilities and a graduate degree in nursing or health services administration.

General Healthcare Administrators: General healthcare administrators must have a strong background in health and business administration, making a Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) very worthwhile. Most top level health administration positions require at least a master’s degree.

A master’s degree in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration or business administration is the standard credential for most generalist positions in this field. However, a bachelor’s degree is adequate for some entry-level positions in smaller facilities and at the departmental level within healthcare organizations. Physicians’ offices and some other facilities may substitute on-the-job experience for formal education.

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