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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Healthcare Administration

Majors Overview June 28, 2014

Receive information about an associate’s degree program in healthcare administration and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education and licensure choices.

Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree Programs in Healthcare Administration

Schools don’t typically offer Associate of Arts in Business Administration (A.A.B.A.) degree programs in Healthcare Management or Healthcare Administration; however, many schools offer Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate of Arts (A.A.) programs in this field. Coursework is devised to teach students methods for ensuring effective management and support of the business operations of healthcare facilities.

Commonly, coursework emphasizes organizational, technical, interpersonal, problem-solving, and leadership skills. Additionally, specialization in a particular kind of facility is allowed in some programs; these include nursing homes and mental healthcare facilities (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)).

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Students enrolled in an associate’s degree program in healthcare administration are provided with the administrative and office skills they would need to fulfill their job role, which would require them to plan, coordinate, direct, and supervise healthcare services.

They can hone strong managerial skills in the field by completing courses related to psychology, biology, communications, finance, and business. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Principles of management
•Human resource management
•Healthcare systems
•Anatomy and physiology
•Computer applications in healthcare administration

Career Choices

After they complete an associate’s degree program, graduates can seek entry-level jobs in various medical work settings, such as doctors’ offices, residential care facilities, clinics, and hospitals. They can choose from different career roles:

•Medical administrator
•Case coordinator
•Office manager
•Risk manager

Continuing Education and Licensure Choices

Employers for most positions in medical and health services management prefer graduates of at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. Many candidates also pursue master’s degrees. Healthcare administrators may be helped in career advancement by enrolling in graduate studies, although adequate work experience may help land positions that involve the handling of important responsibilities and attract a better pay-packet than those without the needed work experience.

Licensure is mandatory in all states for healthcare administrators working in nursing care facilities, although licensing norms can vary by state. Some states require licensure for administrators that work in assisted-living facilities. Individuals working in other areas of healthcare do not need to obtain licensure.

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