Many people begin their career in the healthcare sector as a nurse, doctor, or in a medical support role. Some enter the sector as an administrator. Whatever your original role, if you display leadership qualities, it is likely that at some point you will end up being promoted into a management position, where your job is to manage a team of people or run a department.

Healthcare management is arguably more stressful than most other management roles, particularly if you end up in a senior position, responsible for running a hospital or large medical facility. Aside from the day-to-day admin of the role, you will also be expected to ensure your team adheres to legal guidelines for patient care.

Healthcare is a Heavily Regulated Sector

The healthcare sector is heavily scrutinized and regulated and everyone who works in healthcare is accountable for his or her actions. It isn’t just about taking care of patients. You have to justify everything you do, from diagnosing illnesses to providing equipment for team members. Running a healthcare department, or the entire facility, is like running a complex business, only more complicated. You may even have shareholders to appease if the business is in the private sector, which generally creates even more problems.

Master’s Degree in Healthcare and Business Administration

Not surprisingly, most people who end up in a senior healthcare management role generally have master’s degrees in a health related subject area. A master’s in public health or similar is an excellent foundation for anyone who wants to take the next step on the career ladder. However, if you have designs on a top level job in the healthcare sector, it is worth enrolling on an executive masters in business administration program, as this will prepare for big decision making and help you gain a broader perspective on your leadership role. If time is in short supply because you are exceptionally busy doing your job, look at studying for an online executive MBA.

Other Essential Qualities for Managers in the Healthcare Sector

As well as having leadership qualities, good managers also have a lot of empathy. They are able to put themselves in their team’s shoes, so if things are going wrong, they can help share in the workload. When you work as part of a team, especially a tight knit team in a stressful healthcare department, it is important that everyone pull together during difficult periods. Nobody will respect you if you adopt a stand and watch attitude instead of doing your bit.

Good managers want the best for their team. If a person higher up the management chain orders the team to adopt a new way of working, but it just isn’t workable, your job is to fight your team’s corner and explain how they need to do things differently. By arguing your case and looking for a better solution, you can earn the respect of your team and that of your own managers.

Learning to be an effective manager takes time and experience, so don’t despair if you are finding things a bit tough right now. You will get there in the end.


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