Being a healthcare administrator involves directing a healthcare facility or organization’s operations. From meeting with physicians and investors to training staff and monitoring budgets, healthcare administrators carry out a wide range of duties on the job. These responsibilities are all part of improving a facility or organization’s efficiency, which can lead to higher-quality care for patients. A healthcare administrator must be a good leader, but how do you accomplish that? Developing the right skills is essential to build a healthcare administration career.
From physicians and nurses to healthcare executives and administrators, leadership skills are essential. Some healthcare roles, including healthcare administration, require a greater emphasis on leadership skills than others. As a healthcare leader, you’ll be expected to manage staff, implement programs, and make decisions that affect the quality of care patients receive in your organization or facility. You might also have other responsibilities, depending on the size of the organization or facility. Building leadership skills is a vital part of handling all these responsibilities.
What are good leadership skills? Although your duties and responsibilities as a healthcare administrator may vary depending on where you work, certain leadership skills always come in handy. The following are some of the skills you should work on developing or improving if you plan to pursue a career in healthcare administration.
Having integrity as a leader means that you’re trustworthy and honest. When you have integrity, you’re also reliable. Having integrity in leadership means you’re willing to admit to mistakes, follow through on commitments, practice what you preach, and improve as a leader.
You’ll have many tasks and responsibilities as a healthcare administrator. Knowing how to delegate tasks helps ensure the company is successful by utilizing the strengths of team members. This involves identifying each team member's strengths and weaknesses, so you can delegate tasks accordingly.
Communicating with staff, healthcare providers, executives, investors, and other individuals is crucial to being a healthcare leader. Your communication skills should include being an active listener when others are speaking and being able to clearly communicate information to others verbally or in writing.
Having agility or flexibility in leadership is important since you’ll most likely need to adjust to changing situations. For example, you might need to shift your focus to an urgent matter rather than work on other projects as planned. Being agile or flexible means you can do this effectively while ensuring that all the work you’re responsible for is completed.
Having empathy is an essential part of being a good leader. When you have empathy, you can relate to what others are feeling. As a healthcare administrator, you might need to display empathy when handling a conflict between staff members or when coming up with ways to ensure that patients in your organization or facility receive better care.
Leadership means motivating others to cooperate or collaborate to accomplish goals. As a leader, this involves knowing the strengths and weaknesses of all team members, determining the best roles for them, and encouraging them to work together as a team. Doing so is an important part of keeping teams under your care working effectively so that projects and other tasks can be completed.
In healthcare administration, you can expect to make crucial decisions that affect the entire organization or facility. You might also need to make judgment calls and handle other complex issues. Critical thinking skills are essential for dealing with large-scale, urgent, or complicated decisions and problems in your workplace.
Healthcare administrators are responsible for making many decisions as part of the job. This ranges from minor decisions, such as delegating the day’s tasks, to major decisions that influence patient care or other aspects of your facility or organization. As a healthcare administrator, you’ll need to be skilled at making informed decisions.
Finding solutions to problems or issues is part of healthcare administration. Whether you’re handling simple or complex issues, you should have the skills to do so confidently and efficiently.
As you move up in your career, you’ll be expected to take on more responsibilities, such as making large-scale decisions for a healthcare organization or training staff. You'll need to work on your leadership skills to improve your chance of achieving a leadership role as a healthcare administrator. Having these skills shows that you can handle these kinds of responsibilities effectively. Whether you already have several leadership skills or just a few, remember that you can always add to or improve your existing skills.
Knowing how to improve leadership skills can help ensure you’re prepared for a career as a healthcare administrator. How can you work on developing or improving these skills? Use opportunities to put leadership skills into practice, such as working on active listening as part of your communication skill set or focusing on critical thinking when you need to solve a problem or make decisions. Earning a degree in healthcare administration is a highly effective way to ensure you have the skills required for this career. These degree programs provide many opportunities to learn and develop leadership skills.
You have two options to become a healthcare administrator through The College of Health Care Professions. CHCP offers an online and in-person Health and Medical Administrative Services (HMAS) Associate Degree to help you learn the competencies and skills needed for a healthcare administrator career. This online or in-person associate degree program takes as few as 32 weeks to complete. During the HMAS program, you’ll have the opportunity to take classes in human resources management, business communications, report writing, principles of management and leadership, communication skills, and more. Studying the foundations of business, psychology, and management principles will help you develop the knowledge and leadership skills you’ll need to be a healthcare administrator.
If you would like more information on our Associate of Applied Science in Health and Medical Administrative Services Degree Program, please contact CHCP. We offer this accelerated program for those who have already completed a healthcare certificate from CHCP or an accredited university or college.