A career in healthcare can open many opportunities. It’s not just about nursing or being a doctor. There are dozens of different leadership roles in healthcare.
It’s also a lucrative career move, with the highest salaries at about $95,000 a year. Plus, with so much talk about the healthcare industry and the changes taking place, these positions are in demand.
It’s an opportunity that you can’t afford to ignore. How do you position yourself to be a leader in the healthcare field?
Read this article to find out.
A Career in Healthcare Leadership
The great thing about being a leader in a diverse field like healthcare is that there is not one path that you must take. There are many different career paths and jobs you can take to be a leader.
Perhaps one of the best-known leadership roles in healthcare is as a hospital administrator. That’s because it’s at the top of the healthcare food chain.
A hospital administrator is responsible for the oversight of the entire healthcare organization, whether that’s a hospital or a drug treatment clinic. They have a tremendous amount of pressure to meet the needs of doctors, nurses, and patients.
You might think of the C-suite in the context of a large business or corporation. The C-Suite is alive and well in healthcare, too.
These are management positions such as Chief Information Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer. All of these are critical leadership roles because they are responsible for entire departments.
The Chief Compliance Officer works with different departments and employees to make sure that the healthcare organization complies with the many rules, laws, and regulations that healthcare providers must comply with.
Have you read the news lately? Odds are, you’re keenly aware that government officials have been struggling to figure out how to provide a simple healthcare solution.
You don’t need to run for Congress to become a policymaker in healthcare. You could work for a non-profit such as Campaign for Action, which works to strengthen the field of nursing. That will improve the quality of care for all.
You might think that because this isn’t a C-level position, this can’t be a leadership role. Your position doesn’t have to define your leadership role.
As a medical assistant, you still have a lot of responsibility. You’re managing patients, doctors, and making sure that the entire experience is focused on patients.
You may find that you start out in one career in healthcare and the decide to make a change. For example, you can start out as a medical assistant and decide to work in public policy after getting valuable front line experience.
How to Start Your Career in Healthcare Management
Most of the leadership roles in healthcare organizations require some kind of training or experience. The first place is to pick a place to start your career.
You can start with this page to find out more about healthcare careers. Once you pick your starting place, you can get the required training. That can be in the form of a degree or certification, depending on the career you choose.
As you start your career path, you need to recognize that there are other skills that will come in handy as you move your career path upward. For example, you want to get involved in other areas such as finance or marketing.
Learn and Polish the Skills of Healthcare Leadership
If you want a career in healthcare that lets you be a leader, you have to act like a leader. There are hard skills that you can learn along the way, such as knowing how to deal with insurance billing. There are also soft skills. These are the main leadership skills you should work on throughout your career.
Communication is an essential skill no matter what your job title is. You need to work with many types of people, from vendors to coworkers.
One way to communicate as a leader is to let people know what the expectations are. For example, you can be overseeing a project. There are deadlines to meet and there is a core team that needs to contribute to the project.
You can take this opportunity to let your team know that there are deadlines and spell out who is supposed to contribute what to the project.
Know the Difference Between a Leader and a Manager
There’s a difference between leadership and management, though both are intertwined. Leadership is really about seeing the best in people and helping them aspire to become better in their work.
A manager is someone who is a taskmaster. They oversee things and miss seeing people in the process.
To be an effective leader, you need to make sure you are listening. You want to take the time to talk with the people in your organization and ask them questions. For example, you can ask them how you can improve in your work.
Be prepared to take in honest feedback and then follow that up with action. That shows the people around you that you value your work and their opinion.
Empower Your Team
Employees want to feel like they have an impact in their work, just like you do. In the role of a healthcare leader, you want your employees to love their job.
The healthcare field is stressful as it is, but if you let employees make more decisions, they will feel like they’re a trusted member of the organization.
Start Your Career in Healthcare
Your career in healthcare can give you a lot of opportunities to become a leader in the healthcare industry. It doesn’t matter where you start in the field, you can work your way up to influence policy or be a true leader in the field.
You have to start somewhere and work your way up. With time and patience, your hard work will pay off. You can start brushing up on your leadership skills by reading this article about creating a learning culture in your workplace.