Articles

Jobs within the
Healthcare Field

By Christina Thielst, FACHE

A health care administration degree is ideal for anyone wishing to work on the business side of healthcare. Accounting, billing, medical records, human resources and business development professions tend to be the more obvious roles, but there are other, lesser known health care jobs--some a bit closer to the point of care.

Learn more about our healthcare degreesThe positions described below are ideally suited for individuals who want to apply their health care administration education in direct care environments or work closely with clinicians.  While there may be some entry level positions that only require an associate degree, they are more likely to require a bachelor’s, and a master’s degree might be preferred.

Medical Staff Coordinator/Director – The medical staff office in hospitals and large clinics is primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with bylaws and rules and regulations that are established by the medical staff.  The positions require attention to detail, an ability to recognize risks and maintenance of sensitive and confidential information.  A few key responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and maintaining credentialing packets for new physicians and other privileged providers
  • Coordinating peer reviews, proctoring and other competency assessment activities of the medical staff
  • Taking minutes at medical staff committee meetings and maintaining documentation

Telehealth Program Managers – Health care, education and support are increasingly being delivered virtually using video conferencing, digital medical devices and social networking platforms.  There is complexity in the set-up of telemedicine visits between a patient and physician who are in two separate locations and a telehealth program manager attends to infrastructure needed to make these visits possible.  Responsibilities include:

While there may be some entry level positions that only require an associate degree, they are more likely to require a bachelor’s, and a master’s degree might be preferred.
  • Collaborating with information systems and clinical staff on selection of equipment, set-up and schedulin
  • Facilitating communications and building partnerships between clinical staff at multiple sites
  • Creating operational policies and processes to guide the delivery of care, support and/or education of patients in a non face-to-face environment

Social Media Coordinators/Managers – Just like the telephone and email, social media are new communication channels – opening up new ways to engage with the public and patients.  Increasingly hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations are expanding their use of these tools and finding the need to have someone coordinate their efforts and manage their online reputation.  These positions require knowledge of social technologies, but more importantly, they require individuals with excellent communication skills and sound judgment.  Responsibilities can include:

  • Setting up accounts for the organization on social media and creating guidelines for posting content
  • Engaging with the public, patients/families and staff on social sites
  • Monitoring conversations on the organization’s social sites to identify inappropriate content, requests for assistance and opportunities for improvement
  • Monitoring sites like Yelp for feedback and satisfaction with services
  • Educating staff on use of social media and recruiting experts to add content valued by patients and their families
  • Collecting and reporting stories and data that show the value of these activities to the organization

Care Coordinators and Patient Advocates – Care coordinators and patient advocates help patients and their families navigate the healthcare delivery system.  These positions require compassion and excellent communication and mediation skills.  Bilingual candidates are often preferred. Responsibilities can include:

  • Responding to complaints and grievances from patients or their families and following up on opportunities for improvement
  • Assisting with the transfer of information between patients and clinicians or others in the organization
  • Coordinating translation services
  • Facilitating processes associated with transitions in care – from one level to another or across healthcare organizations – to keep the patient safe and ensure the appropriate transfer of responsibility

These are just a few of the health care jobs and administration roles that work closely with clinicians and in care environments, but their future is bright!

Bio:

Christina Thielst has experienced the evolution of the healthcare system over the last 30 years as both a hospital administrator and consultant. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science/Management from Louisiana State University and a Masters of Health Administration from Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.