Healthcare administration is a growing field with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Estimating a 23 percent growth in demand through 2020. It can also be a confusing field in which to work because of the many definitions of the role.
Finding ways to get experience with the following suggestions will help you narrow in on the particular variety of healthcare administration that suits your interests.
Getting a Clearer Direction
Healthcare is an extremely diverse field, and there are multiple avenues for a career path.
Online resources like those at Penn Foster train medical administrative assistants, provide a background in patient information and record-keeping, scheduling, insurance billing, and office management. These skills allow a person to either assist or manage entirely, the front-end office functions in many healthcare environments.
The typical places needing this type of help include:
- Private physician offices.
- Group medical practices.
- Senior care centers.
- Outpatient care facilities.
- Mental health centers.
- Physical rehabilitation centers.
- Home health care groups.
While you’re studying for your healthcare administration degree or certificate, you may be able to find an internship or work as a volunteer in any one of these environments, as Monster.com’s All Health Care page explains.
Getting the Experience
Healthcare administration is a competitive field, with many people looking for experience.
Two areas to focus on to help you in your search area:
- Any current skills you have that can benefit a company or organization.
- References from people in the healthcare field.
Jot down a list of skills that you have to offer a business. Research, organizational skills, bookkeeping and accounting, and scheduling are all skills you may have gained elsewhere that a healthcare business can use. Any references you can get from healthcare practitioners, instructors, supervisors or prior employment will also help you get in the door.
Internship openings can be difficult to find because so many students are looking for the same experience. Research early and apply to multiple places for your best chances of getting in.
Some hospitals have internships in specific areas of their system. For instance, physical and occupational therapy, radiology and magnetic imaging, laboratory, and blood banks are all departments in a hospital that you can venture into and look for opportunities.
Treatment Center Internships
Privately owned outpatient centers may offer internships. Some of the areas of medicine that treatment centers can cover include:
- Physical therapy.
- Plastic surgery.
- Outpatient orthopedics.
- Workman’s compensation.
- Women’s health.
- Magnetic imaging and radiation therapy.
These internships will likely match up with a position they wish to fill now or in the near future.
Working in these areas as an intern may result in a job offer.
Public Health Internships
There are also a number of areas in public and community health where you may find internships. These roles will let you work with a variety of healthcare providers who support the needs of specific communities.
Some of these public health areas include:
- Professional medical organizations.
- Public health teaching.
- Cancer research and awareness.
- Food and drug monitoring and control.
- University-sponsored public health clinics.
- City and county homeless wellness clinics.
You will have a chance to see the impact you have on working with different populations such as low-income, seniors, developmentally challenged, cancer victims, and communicable disease patients.
Tap Into Your Background
Use your previous experience to find volunteer opportunities in healthcare administration, especially if you are moving from one career field to this one. For example, if you are a military veteran, look for opportunities in a VA Hospital or clinic.
With a technology background, you could work with hospital IT in medical records. With child daycare experience, look at pediatric clinics for opportunities.