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What is Healthcare Administration?

The healthcare industry is growing continuously. The expanding need for well-skilled and caring practitioners is likely to rise shortly, coupled with the number of older residents who will be in need of diverse health needs. With the everchanging population of older people, this need will only increase in the future.

New Mexico is a state composed of 2.097 million people as of the 2019 census report. It borders the state of Texas on one side and Arizona on the other, increasing the number of potential patients that come into the state for medical care or treatment.

This fact has opened up the field for health services managers and administrators who are trained to handle the ever changing needs of patients and residents. The healthcare administration job outlook in New Mexico looks good as there continue to be opportunities for advancement and salary increases, as well.

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Healthcare Administration Education in New Mexico

Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Administration (BSHCA)

Students who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration in New Mexico need to pursue a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. Many of these programs are available in Albuquerque. You can also specialize in any area of healthcare administration that you find suitable.

Much of the coursework involved in this field involves taking communication courses due to the vast amount of communications that is required of these types of roles. People who take on these jobs must be able to talk to a large number of different kinds of people including staff, donors, patients, stockholders, and media. The message you deliver as a healthcare administrator represents everyone who has a stake in the hospital or institution that you serve, so the message must be gotten across amicably and efficiently.

Some sample courses that you will take for the Bachelor of Science degree might include:

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  • Intercultural Communication and Leadership
  • Staff Management in Healthcare
  • Leadership & Communication Skills

Additional coursework will require courses in Hospital Ethics, Regulation and Legislation of Healthcare, and classes on the Medical Supply Chain. All of these course areas are needed because the job of a healthcare administrator is diverse and requires a wide number of skills and specialties that must be used on a daily basis.

The degrees that you can pursue that will prepare you for work in the healthcare field include:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Administration (BSHA)
  • Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)

These degrees require 120 credit hours, on average which can be completed in four years. The BBA focuses more on the business aspects of a healthcare institution and includes managing a business in ways that apply to the healthcare industry. The BSHA is more focused on the science of administrating healthcare most ethically. The BHA focuses on general health administration and can include situations involving wellness practices as well as education and training positions.

Undergraduate Coursework

Coursework that students will be required to take include:

  • Ethics in healthcare
  • Medical terminology
  • Human resources in healthcare
  • Business communication skills
  • Healthcare in the U.S.
  • Accounting and finance for healthcare applications

Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA)

If you wish to make a career out of the healthcare administration field, you should consider pursuing a healthcare admin graduate degree once you have completed the undergraduate degree requirements. Graduate work in the field has become the industry standard for career advancement because people expect administrators to have a higher degree of business and health administration ability and skills.

Degrees that you can pursue include:

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Administration
  • Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Science (MS) in Health Policy and Management

The graduate degree usually consists of 36-60 hours of coursework with a combination of administrative and health-related coursework. All of these courses require a degree of rigor that is needed not only for the completion of the degree but the daily requirements of the career in healthcare administration.

Any of these programs can prepare you for a healthcare administration degree, but you should choose the one that best fits your career goals.

To decide which graduate degree you should pursue, you need to think about what you wish to do in the future of your career. If you want to focus more on the business end of things (how to increase patient load or increase facilities) for example, you might want to get the business administration degree. For more health-focused topics, you should stick to healthcare topics as you pursue your career and market yourself in this aspect of your career focus.

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Careers and Salary Outlook

Salary and Earnings Potential

Recent changes in New Mexico healthcare administration laws have opened the door for more opportunities for people pursuing this career in New Mexico. The predicted job growth outlook for healthcare administration in the state of New Mexico is good and in line with the current national average. It is expected that there will be a 32% increase in job openings from 2020 through 2030 across the country. The average healthcare manager in the state will earn around $126,820 per year.

This makes the field of administration in healthcare an attractive choice when it comes to finding a lucrative career that could continue to offer opportunities for advancement. Federal grants are available that are provided to people who enter this field if you qualify and there are many different types of opportunities currently in the state for people who either want to work in non-profit community healthcare facilities or to help hospitals hire employees and train staff to handle the growing need of patients.

Rewarding Career

People who work in this field report that their career is a challenging and sometimes stressful one due to the vast array of critical decisions that must be made on a daily basis. However, they enjoy being a part of the bigger picture of healthcare that helps people live a fuller and more healthy life.

This is what motivates many people to get into the healthcare field, whether they are working as a nurse practitioner, doctor, or hospital administrator. Every level of the healthcare field is needed as the need continues to increase to treat a growing diversity of health care needs and conditions.

Career Options

There are several new job openings for people who wish to enter or continue their career in the field of healthcare administration. Below are some of the potential jobs you can get after completing your high education degree. These are only a few examples of potential jobs and careers available for healthcare administration. There are many more career options due to the changing demands of healthcare in the state of New Mexico.

  • Manager for Patient Care

    The job duties for this position typically include being able to communicate with customers involving their needs effectively and to explain data to customers and stakeholders. A technology skill that is required is the ability to use and apply Microsoft Office for medical applications. The effective candidate must also plan and coordinate organizational change and anticipate changing customer needs. Salary is based on experience and education level.

  • Dietician
    A dietician that will work with patients and healthcare providers in a hospital environment and coordinate healthcare plans and diet for patients that will benefit their health and wellness. The salary ranges typically from $61,000 to $70,000 based on education and experience level.

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Prominent Employers in New Mexico

The largest employers in healthcare administration in the state of New Mexico are hospitals and clinics. This is due to the increasing number of elderly and new patients that the state receives who are in need of healthcare.

There are also several nonprofit clinics and hospitals that many healthcare workers work with to keep up with the need of local New Mexico communities for quality healthcare.

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Work can also be found in specialty areas such as dietician work and consultancy work for hospital staff, and there is always a need to train workers in the healthcare field in a multitude of locations across the state.

People with the master’s in healthcare administration can also pursue work as an instructor in the healthcare field either online or in traditional settings. You should define your career in the way you want to go and fashion coursework to meet your goal requirements. The opportunities are diverse, so you should think about what you want to do to meet the needs of your own career choices.

Health Administration Associations

The Student Association of Healthcare Administrators (SAHA) is a professional organization for students pursuing the graduate degree in healthcare administration. This association connects students with possible employment opportunities as well as leaders in the healthcare industry who can help them further prepare for their careers.

The New Mexico Healthcare Executives Association (NMHE) is a professional organization for healthcare executives in New Mexico who meet online and in person for training and advancement opportunities. They also keep up with changes in the healthcare industry and news that influences the state of healthcare in New Mexico.

Looking Forward

If you are considering a career as a healthcare administrator, we recommend following these steps to pursue your goals:

  • Get an undergraduate degree such as a BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) or BHA (Bachelor of Health Administration).
  • Get some experience in healthcare for a couple of years using a job search on Google or health forums for new healthcare jobs.
  • Enroll in a graduate program at an accredited university to pursue your master’s in healthcare administration or other similar master’s degree.
  • Develop your resume and career portfolio based on your experience and education. Be sure to include some good references from both your educational and career experience.
  • Decide how you want to use our skills and apply for jobs that match your criteria.

If you are determined and stay on your course of action, you should be able to find some lucrative and rewarding employment in the future in the field of healthcare administration. Start with a good education from institutions of higher learning such as Abilene Christian University, Benedictine University, and others. Many of these programs are offered as online degrees as well.

Be persistent in your goals and place a reminder about what you want to do on your computer or mirror to see each day. Day by day, you'll draw closer to your goals. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, but there was never a day that Rome wasn't being built.

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