How Can I Become an Assisted Living Administrator?
The assisted-living center provides a safe environment for the elderly and others who are no longer able to live safely at home and need help with everyday tasks, such meal preparation, dressing and medical care. The job of the assisted-living administrator is to ensure that the facility's operation is kept running smoothly, providing a safe and healthy environment for those who use its services. Schools offering Home Health Aide degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Kind of Work Will I Do as an Assisted Living Administrator?
As an assisted-living administrator, you oversee and manage the delivery of healthcare for a system or facility. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), administrators plan, coordinate, execute and supervise the activities and operations necessary to keep everything running smoothly (www.bls.gov). While working as an administrator, you make decisions on matters regarding finances, personnel and patient issues.
In this role, you will work long hours because these facilities must operate 24 hours and problems may arise unexpectedly. You'll usually work in comfortable surroundings, although you may have to travel to other locations if your facility is part of a larger group or system.
How Do I Qualify For This Career?
If you plan to earn a bachelor's degree in health services administration, you may start out as an assistant before gaining experience and earning a promotion. However, with a master's degree, you may earn an administrator position immediately. It's important that the program you choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), which confers accreditation on healthcare management education programs (www.chme.org).
If you have previous healthcare experience, you'll be at an advantage for consideration into a graduate degree program. Most graduate programs take two to three years to complete, and your coursework will include courses involving organization and management of hospitals, biostatistics, ethics, law, economics, health information systems and accounting.
Nursing home administrators must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree plus successful completion of a state-approved training program and licensing exam. Continuing education is also required as part of the profession.
What is the Salary and Job Outlook?
According to the BLS, the 2010 median wages for health services administrators was $40.52 per hour and annual earnings were $84,270. As with many health care fields, health care administration positions are growing rapidly. The BLS predicts that the field will grow 16% between 2008 and 2018, due largely to the increase in an aging population.
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