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There are endless career opportunities in the field of healthcare management. Medical technology advances are now allowing people to have longer, healthy, and productive lives. As a result of these advances in healthcare, the healthcare sector has become a fast growing industry in U.S. Graduates with professional certifications in public health, healthcare administration and healthcare management have huge variety of career paths that they can follow.
Some of the entry level opportunities in healthcare operations management include administrative assistants, receptionists, and medical insurance claim investigators and examiners. These are opportunities that allow an individual to gain knowledge and skills while working. Some other opportunities that require further qualifications include community health educators, community service managers and insurance underwriters (Stefani, 2017).
Some of the internship opportunities included a health care operations management intern at AltaMed Health Services Corporation, Los Angeles, CA. The position however requires a Bachelor’s degree or enrollment in a management degree program with at least one semester of classes completed. The applicant needs to have 3.0 minimum GPA. Applicants should also have excellent personal organization, communication, and time management skills. They should also be able to adapt to diverse situations and have basic computer skills. They should also have a high regard for confidential information (Alta Med, 2017).
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital also offers internship opportunities. The healthcare administrative fellowship program offers hands on training to interns in the fields of healthcare administration and management. The candidate needs to have a degree or diploma qualification relating to management or administration. Further training to tailor interns to healthcare services is done at the organization during the internship period. For this reason, the internship period is longer than average, lasting an entire year (Healthcare Administrator, 2017).
There are a lot of interesting facts about these opportunities. To begin with, the opportunities do not have exaggerated requirements. A student who is enrolled in a management or administration course can easily get a chance to venture into the healthcare operations management career. For instance, the AltaMed internship only requires an applicant to have enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program and completed at least one semester. Such a requirement gives a lot of people a chance to get into the healthcare services career.
On the contrary, such a provision also increases the competitiveness of the position. A lot of people fit this criteria and therefore competition would be high. Another factor that interested me was that one can venture into this career from an entry level without any qualifications apart from a high school diploma. From the entry level position, it is easy to scale up the ladders slowly by enrolling into educational programs that are related to healthcare services. For instance, one can begin as a receptionist and the study while on the job. Over time, the person will have accumulated enough professional qualifications and skills to enable them move into a higher position in the healthcare management ladder.
There are several certifications available in the healthcare operations management profession. One such certification is the CHC (Certified in Healthcare Compliance). Any person certified in Healthcare Compliance possess expertise and knowledge of regulations relating to healthcare. This certification shows that an individual can understand and address the legal requirements of healthcare services and also help the individual carry out activities with high levels of organizational integrity. This certification requires an individual to have background experience in healthcare related services. The candidates also sit for continuing education units and complete twelve of them before their can sit for the CHU exam. Passing the examination guarantees certification. The certification is valid for 2 years and the candidate must sit the exam again after completing the requirements (Compliance Certification Board, 2017).
The Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) membership is also a requirement. HCCA “is a member-based association for compliance professionals in the healthcare provider field” (HCCA, 2017). HCCA offers training and membership certification. Individuals who undergo the training events of organized by HCCA are eligible to apply for CHC certification. The training events count as Continuing Educational Units (CEU). As a member of HCCA, individuals not only get training and certification, they also gain access to a wider network of professionals, and healthcare organizations. As a member, one is able to get accurate and updated information and education resources fast and reliably.
HCCA also runs the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE). SCCE offers certification in ethics compliance for healthcare professionals. This certification shows that an individual meets the ethical requirements that are expected of a healthcare professional. Healthcare management professionals are also required to possess the following certifications: Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC), Certified in Healthcare Compliance-Fellow (CHC-F) and Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC).
These certifications require individuals to undergo or show proof of educational units completed. Because they are ongoing certifications, the members are required to continue educating themselves and renewing their memberships and certifications. Because of this continuing education the members are always updated on the best practices in healthcare management.
The certifications offer huge benefits to healthcare professionals. To begin with, they increase the chances of employment and career advancement. As a certified practitioner, new opportunities requiring such certifications present new frontiers for career advancement. As a member of the HCCA, healthcare operations management professionals are embedded in a vast network of other professionals and employers. It is easier to get leads to new jobs through the network. The membership also offers access to vast resources for self-improvement through learning and ongoing discussions.
I believe that as a fast growing industry, healthcare offers vast opportunities for career growth. There are numerous opportunities that offer individuals without a nursing or medical related training to participate in the healthcare sector. As an aspiring healthcare operations management professional, the most important step is to become a member of the professional body and get the relevant certifications. The certifications will give the individual and edge over other competitors in the job market by improving one’s professional and ethical practices which are a major requirement in the healthcare industry.
- Alta Med. (2017). Healthcare Operations Management Intern. AltaMed Health Services Corporation.
- Compliance Certification Board. (2017). Candidate Handbook: Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC). Compliance Certification Board.
- Health Care Compliance Association. (2017). About the Health Care Compliance Association. HCCA.
- Healthcare Administrator. (2017). Administrative Fellowship Program at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital.
- Stefani, C. (2017). Career Paths in Healthcare Management: An Overview.