The following is a guest post by Chris Jones
Healthcare administrators typically work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, nursing care centers, public health departments and medical research institutions. However, generalists and specialist healthcare administrators normally have different roles and responsibilities at the workplace. In general, the former are normally in charge of several aspects such as planning, co-ordination and supervision while the latter take on a single administrative role in a health care facility. Therefore, before you decide whether you want to pursue a career as a specialist or general health administrator, it is important to understand the pros and cons of both types of administrators. Here is a detailed comparison of healthcare administration generalists vs. specialists.
Specialists focus, in great depth, on one area of health administration, and, as such, develop the skills necessary to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of that specialty.
- It is easier for a specialist to become an expert in a specific area of health administrations such as management, planning, human resources or policy planning.
- On the job market, specialists tend to be in greater demand in comparison to generalists. This is because the former are usually able to fill a specific position in a health care facility while the latter are usually not able to do this.
- Specialists undergo training that enables them to work in a streamlined work process. This is a great bonus in the current economy where most organizations streamline their operations in order to cut costs.
- Sometimes, the role that a specialist healthcare administrator can fill is too narrow. Therefore, it may be difficult to find a source of consistent income.
- If you decide to pursue an entrepreneurial venture in healthcare administration it may be difficult for you as an entrepreneur to expand your business if you specialize in only one aspect of health administration.
Unlike specialists, generalists typically focus on a broad spectrum of healthcare administration aspects. As a result, many of them acquire skills that enable them to multitask in varied roles. However, if you opt for a career in healthcare administration generalist, you may not be able to develop expert-level skills in any area of health administration.
- If you are a generalist, you can market your skills to a broader market in comparison to a specialist.
- You can easily advance your education as a generalist to match the needs of the job market by improving your skills in one area of general health administration.
- A generalist can easily provide different alternative solutions to healthcare administration problems because you are knowledgeable in multiple aspects of administration.
- As a general health administrator, you have to juggle more roles and responsibilities at work and this may ultimately affect the quality of your work.
- It may be difficult to find a job as a generalist health administrator in health centers that offer only specialized services.
Overall, the main difference between a specialist and generalist healthcare administrator is the fact that specialists acquire the necessary skills to carry out their responsibilities efficiently in one aspect of healthcare administration while generalists can juggle multiple administrative roles. Before you make a decision on whether to be a specialist or generalist, it is important to review you career growth plans and select the option that matches your career aspirations.
Chris Jones is a freelance writer covering all things current.