Why Earn an Online Degree in Health Care Administration?

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Jobs in health care administration are projected to grow by 28% by 2031. It's a career that combines earning potential with the opportunity to help others who need it most. It's the best of both worlds, right? 

The good news about health care administration is you can get started today. With some courses and experience under your belt, you may be able to get your foot in the door at a hospital or medical office. Or you could use that to apply to a full-time program.

So, why not consider starting with an online degree in healthcare administration? An online degree may be a great way to move toward being a healthcare administrator. It's also a great avenue if you're looking to switch careers

But is online study right for you? Keep reading to find out.

Should You Study Online?

Online degree programs are worth mulling over. You will be studying on your own. But you'll gain flexibility that you wouldn't have with in-person programs.

Consider all the benefits before you enroll in an online health care program.

Benefits of Studying Online

The main benefit of studying online is the freedom it offers you. Take a look at how that works to see if an online degree program is for you.

Set Your Own Schedule

Some programs require you to meet at certain times through video conferencing tools. However, many offer asynchronous programming. This means you can access the course materials at any time. California Coast University's courses are self-paced and self-study. 

Instead of completing a virtual examination at 6 pm on Tuesday, you can log in to complete a unit examination whenever it suits your schedule. This is what makes online education great for professionals or stay-at-home parents. You can fit your learning around your other commitments.

Work As You Go

Speaking of studying while you work, that's another benefit of doing an online program. You don't have to quit your job to complete your coursework. 

Often, online programs are designed with full-time employees in mind. They offer reduced-hour semesters or study-as-you-go formats. That means you can take a course here and there as you have time or can afford it. 

You'll just have to make sure you complete the coursework in the requested amount of time. For certificates, you may be able to take up to two years to complete your coursework. For degree programs, up to five years.

Study From Anywhere

Live in Maryland, or perhaps outside the country, but want to do a degree at a school in California? Check their online offerings. You can attend a school you've always dreamed of without having to move to another state. 

The other great thing about an online program is you can take your school with you wherever you go. Going on vacation during the spring semester? Just make sure you pack your laptop and have an internet connection at your destination.

What Will You Learn In a Health Care Administration Program?

Health care administration brings together management and medical services. Professionals in this field make an average of $73,000 a year helping hospitals and health facilities run smoothly. To do so, you need to study the right subjects.

The United States Health Care System

Your first course will likely teach you how the health care system functions. You'll learn key medical terms and what they mean. You'll also learn how hospitals run and what employment opportunities exist within them.

From there, you'll analyze political or legal boundaries that exist within health care systems. You may be able to research how to move past them. Plus, you'll work on your writing and discover how medical writing and research take place.

Essentials of Managed Health Care

You'll need a background in management principles to be an effective administrator. This includes knowing how health insurance coverage and payment plans work.

You'll understand the ins and outs of how medical services are provided and paid for. And you'll analyze the factors that contribute to the health insurance business. 

Medical Law and Ethics

Within health care, you have to understand the laws that apply to health care settings. In a law and ethics course, you'll cover why such laws matter and how to make sure they're implemented at a facility. 

You'll learn about what information is or is not confidential and how liability works. You'll also learn about how doctors and patients work together to create a safe healing environment.

Culture Diversity in Health and Illness

As a health care administrator, you want your programs to care for everyone well. Courses in culture and diversity will help you do this.

You'll cover topics like what terms to use with patients. You may also learn how to work with translators. 

You'll learn about the way different demographics experience healthcare. You'll study the barriers that exist within the healthcare system. And you'll grow in your ability to present information relevant to diversity and healthcare. 

Making the Most Of an Online Program

With all the flexibility of an online program comes more responsibility to get your work done. You'll need to be self-disciplined to keep up with your schoolwork.

If you don't consider yourself a disciplined person, that's okay! You can learn the skills you need to be successful. Below are three of the most important.

Know Your Deadlines

Before you get started in an online program, you'll want to get a good planner. Without a professor reminding you, you'll need to make sure you stay on top of deadlines yourself. 

Write down all your deadlines or course requirements in your planner or on a calendar. Keep it in a place where you'll see it every day. If you want to go a step further, think through the time you'll need to complete each of your readings and assignments. Then, work backward from the deadline to determine when you'll need to start each project. 

The more organized you stay during your program, the easier it will be. When you get behind, it can be even harder to catch up if you're juggling school with work or a family. 

Stay Focused

Staying focused in online courses is harder than traditional classes. Usually, you're studying in a space in your home. Instead of traveling to school for class, you attend in your home office, bedroom, or at the dining room table.
This means your kids may be running through the room during your study time. Or you may find you're not in the mood to study while you're at home. These can all impact your ability to stay focused. 

So try to set specific study times and let your family know about them. Limit distractions by asking for privacy during these times. And while you're at it, fight the temptation to browse Facebook or do your online shopping.

Make a Dedicated Study Space

Along with having set times for your studying, try designating a specific place as well. If your home makes you feel too relaxed, you may need to find a spot at the local library or a cafe to do your work. If your family is too distracting while you work at the table, try converting that spare bedroom into an office.

Just make sure you don't study on the bed! Get yourself a proper desk and chair. If it helps, fill your study space with inspiring quotes, a vision board, or other motivation tools. Make it a space that helps you feel excited to do your coursework.  

Find Accountability Partners

One of the harder parts of online learning is not having a community to go through it with. Having friends in class that you can meet up with to study is a huge perk of in-person learning. It's also helpful accountability to keep you moving forward on assignments.

But just because you study online doesn't mean you can't find community. Look to see if others are taking the same courses as you in your area. It may feel a little awkward, but it'll be well worth it when you have a friend in class to help keep you accountable.

Earn an Online Degree in Health Care Administration

Always weigh the pros and cons of a particular program before enrolling. Online health care programs take dedication, diligence, and focus. But with the right attitude, you can get the work done and start a new career in a growing field. 

If you're interested in starting an online program in health care administration, click here

This article was written for you by a member of the California Coast University staff. Do you have a question, comment or an idea for an article? Email: [email protected]

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