Social sciences and management of health services: Do you know what it takes to manage a hospital, a district or even the healthcare of the country?

By- Akanksha Mahajan

Have you ever imagined what it would be like leading hundreds of people or maybe even more? Are you aware that even the simplest hospital can still be too complex to handle at its organizational level? Do you know who makes sure that the doctors, nurses and the rest of the paramedical staff are able to work expeditiously in a smooth setting? Well, that’s when the role of healthcare managers comes into play. Currently, we are dwelling is not just a dynamic but an equally hectic era. Undoubtedly, today we need healthcare management professionals more than ever before.

So, first of all, what is healthcare management? As the name suggests, healthcare management is basically the administration or oversight of the healthcare systems, public health systems, hospitals, entire hospital networks, or other medical facilities. 

A healthcare manager is supposed to ensure that a healthcare facility is running efficiently in terms of the budget as well as the needs of the community. A person who is in charge of healthcare management looks after the day-to-day functioning of the facility.

A healthcare manager can also act as a spokesperson when it comes to providing information to the media. They are also supposed to collaborate with various medical staff leaders on issues surrounding medical equipment, department budgets, planning ways to ensure the facility meets their goals and at the same time, they should be maintaining a harmonious relationship with doctors, nurses, and various department heads. The healthcare manager also makes decisions regarding the performance evaluations, staff expectations, budgeting, social media updates. (1)

You might imagine hospital managers when you think of careers in healthcare management. However, these jobs exist at every level. For people who prefer a smaller setting, a job as an office manager might be appropriate and another option for someone who wishes to work at a larger front could also be working as health agency manager.

“Healthcare management” is basically an umbrella term that covers a wide range of job titles and opportunities.  One can also get to be a clinical director, healthcare supervisor, health coordinator, and nursing home facilitator. They can also work at colleges or universities, public health centers, urgent care clinics, insurance companies, or pharmaceutical companies and so much more!

Ultimately, healthcare management professionals look after and coordinate each and every nook and corner of the healthcare system.

So, do you feel lured to this field? Are you wondering how you can be a part of it?

Well, the first step involves earning a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management. This incorporates you with the knowledge from both the healthcare as well as the business fields. Students will not just learn to manage a business, but also about healthcare terminology, hospital organization, and the laws surrounding healthcare and health information. In order to succeed as a healthcare manager, one needs to be well-versed in both. A master’s in healthcare management is often a common choice. With a master’s degree, an individual can have a better chance at getting a job in healthcare management at a more senior level.

Experience as a healthcare professional isn’t really required to be a healthcare manager, but it may be advantageous. If someone has worked as a doctor or nurse, they have a unique insight into the various concerned issues. Doctors and nurses who choose to shift to management can pursue a master’s degree in healthcare management or healthcare administration or an MBA. Such candidates might have an additional advantage because they usually have a firsthand impression of how healthcare professionals and managers work together. 

As fascinating as this field sounds, what are your thoughts about getting an opportunity to manage your district healthcare system? So, the district health office is usually managed by a team of health workers, called the district health management team (DHMT). A typical team consists of the district health officer, public health nurse, hospital administrator, nutritionist, and environmental health officer.

The health services extend from the community health workers to the hospitals. Along With the organization of the health services, the DHMT also has to collaborate with local government and non-governmental organizations, liaise with community representatives and organizations, and practice intersectoral coordination. (2)

The various areas of functioning include:

  • District health planning, including community participation, local government and intersectoral coordination and collaboration in health
  • District health administration and the management of all community health programs
  • Training and supervision of all health staff
  • District hospital and outpatient services

Do you wish to dig even deeper into such leadership opportunities? Have you ever thought about being a part of the state health or national healthcare policies’ formulation teams? Well, where there’s a will, there’s a way and your will has led you here because there’s definitely a way you can do that and get to be a part of the state public healthcare or national public health care managing teams. 

Would you be interested in working over the following areas and that too at such a large scale:

  • Create awareness and educate the public on health care and hygiene.
  • Promote and implement government healthcare schemes in society.
  • Involvement in policymaking that and thathealthcare programs to prevent disease.
  • Ensure government compliances.
  • Manage fundraisers.
  • Hire and train people to implement a healthcare program.
  • Supervise the healthcare program

 Think about being a:

  • Program director
  • Program manager
  • Project director
  • Public health advisor
  • Public health consultant
  • Public health policy analyst

Ultimately, you could even join the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of our country or the health ministry of your state and get an opportunity to improve the healthcare system of your very own habitat. Maybe you could formulate the next National Health Mission! (3)

If that doesn’t give you chills, what else would?



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