Leadership during enduring times such as the COVID-19 is a true test of your skills. Paving ways through unprecedented challenges, tribulations, and trials is one of the many characteristics that shape an individual into a leader. A leader should have a clear vision of the future, manage people effectively, be conscientious, and be considerate of others’ emotions and feelings.
A Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) program can be a pathway towards shaping important and critical leadership qualities not only in the healthcare domain but in society as well.
What is Taught in an MHA Program?
You must be wondering how a healthcare-based university degree may be a paving path to ‘learn’ the art and science of leadership. With the typical contents that are taught as a standard in most medical schools, an MHA program teaches specific aspects, concepts, qualities, and skills to its students that mold them into responsible practitioners of health. Therefore, potential students looking forward to studying an executive MHA program must acknowledge a few of the following compulsory and crucial courses:
- Introduction to Health Administration
- Organizational Development and Leadership
- Healthcare Law
- Healthcare Technology
- Health Economics
- Policy Development
- Strategic Planning
- Operations Management
- Evidence-Informed Decision Making
Alongside the fundamentals of healthcare science, you will encounter mandatory courses such as Strategic Planning and Operations Management that give a 360-degree view of business in healthcare, personal and organizational development, the importance of productivity levels, short and long-term formulation of strategies and most importantly, the foundation and tenets of a responsible and effective leader in healthcare administration.
On this note, you can also go towards elective courses that delve deeper into healthcare administration. These include Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness, Advanced Leadership, and Healthcare Insurance and Managed Care. The Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness course teaches you many important aspects of leadership in nonprofit organizations; how to lead, manage, control, strategize and effectively plan towards the growth and success of a nonprofit organization.
In What Ways Will an MHA Program Teach You Leadership?
It must be noted that an MHA program is not only a strict medical study of theories, instruments and practical applications but rather also about concepts of people management, environmental administration and leading people. In any generic MHA program, you will be instilled with many aspects of a typical healthcare leader, which are as follows:
A Spirit of Leadership
With the courses mentioned earlier, the characteristics of a leader can actually be ‘learned’ by students. With an MHA program, you can also move towards conducting yourself as successful leader, incorporate effective practices in your workspace, introduce an ethic of hard work and consistency, and be emotionally intelligent. Nearly all successful leaders in any field have such unique and distinctive qualities.
More Decisive in Time-Tested and Pressurized Circumstances
A leader is no leader without being harshly tested with time. It is no doubt that as an MHA student and in your professional work life, you will face unprecedented challenges and decisions. To become more agile in navigating and overcoming such challenges is one tenet of what an MHA program intends to initiate within its students.
A Sense of Vision and Mission
Service to others is a noble cause, regardless of culture, society, or country. With an MHA program, you feel a higher cause awaits you as not only does it benefit you to mark your success, but vulnerable sections of society as well.
This vision with the mission of retaining your consistent hard work, staying positive and encouraging positivity, as well as being ethical and gentle in nature can be said to be a ‘recipe’ for success.
Capability to Influence Followers and Subordinates for a Common Goal
A leader’s say in any matter carries immense weightage. In a typical healthcare facility, a healthcare administrator is responsible for critical administrative activities and decisions that shape the growth and success of the respective organization. MHA graduates understand this factor and are trained to utilize their influence on their team in a positive, progressive and inclusive nature.
Solid Communication Skills
A leader is not one who speaks the loudest in the room but speaks enough to have the loudest impact in the room. With solid communication skills taught in an MHA program, you will be able to present yourself, undergo negotiations, coordinate with your fellow colleagues and manage time in an effective and efficient manner. To become a leader, your words must have integral meaning.
What Must a Healthcare Leader Know?
All of these crucial teachings in an MHA program are, however, secondary to a few important conditions first. These conditions include that you must first be well-familiarized with the entire healthcare system, effective management strategies, the know-how of budgeting and managing financial aspects, current governmental and healthcare rules.
How Must Healthcare Leaders Conduct Themselves?
As a potential healthcare administrator, you must create an environment where feedback from your subordinates is welcomed. Why is this important?
With constructive feedback and sometimes – constructive criticism, healthcare administrators can formulate inclusive and unbiased policies, improve the workflow, and identify discrepancies in the work environment. As a healthcare leader, all such activities are required to lead their respective subordinates to perform their jobs optimally.
I Have Completed My MHA – Now What?
The end of your MHA program will put you into a practical ‘testing’ phase of the concepts you theoretically studied during your MHA program. Students are most likely to be offered residencies and internship opportunities in healthcare centers, pharmaceutical organizations, nursing care homes, mental health facilities, group medical practices as well as governmental bodies.
You can also apply for a fellowship in case your respective educational institution does not provide a residence opportunity, as you are likely to receive solid and robust mentorship from industry-tested coaches, professors and healthcare practitioners, full-time work opportunities as well as your personal career development.
Viable Options for Students to Pursue an MHA Program
As a substantial demand for value-based healthcare professionals is being witnessed across the globe in nearly all healthcare systems, there is no doubt that you will receive a respected education that is truly transnational.
As the entire global healthcare system faces a tough and unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19, it is now in need of inspirational, motivated, and skillful healthcare administrators and professionals more than ever. But it must be emphasized that with the grave task of treating entire populations comes to an even greater responsibility to maintain an ethical code of performing unbiased diagnosis of patients, complete treatment against complete payment as well as equitable treatment for low-earning patients.
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