When most people think of the U.S. branches of the armed forces, they picture people carrying guns and fighting bad guys. But there are a lot of jobs within the military that don't require its members to wield M-16s and be stationed in remote parts of the Middle East. In fact, military branches like the Navy have jobs for a wide range of careers – including a long list in the healthcare field. This makes perfect sense, as servicemen aren't robots, and require medical care just like average citizens. In fact, one could argue that they actually require more healthcare – from routine physicals to emergency treatment.
The Navy divides its healthcare providers into seven categories: physicians, dentists, nurses, healthcare scientists, clinical care providers, medical support professionals, and healthcare administrators. Healthcare administrators then specialize in one of ten areas: education and training management; financial management; general healthcare administration; healthcare facilities planning; information management; manpower systems analysis; medical logistics management; operations research; patient administration; and plans, operations, and medical intelligence.
Healthcare administrators in the Navy have a number of responsibilities. Professionals in some specialties may have to deal with how to handle medical and humanitarian needs after a crisis, such as an earthquake or tsunami. Others may work in construction and oversee the building of new facilities, either in the United States or another country. Those who work in finance will focus on budgets, and may set the monetary plan for departments or entire facilities. Others make recommendations for how to best deliver care to different populations, and still others will spend most of their time training new staff and overseeing existing personnel.
Some healthcare professionals in the Navy will work at a medical center in the United States. If so, they will live in either Maryland, Virginia, or California. Some work aboard aircraft carriers, and there are even two entire ships that are dedicated as hospitals on which an administrator could work. And those who are stationed outside of the country will work within one of a number of operational units around the world.
Education and Qualifications
In order to enter the Navy as a commissioned officer, there are certain professions that require people to have specific degrees. For example, doctors must have a medical degree, lawyers must have a law degree, chaplains must have studied theology, and those in healthcare science must have studied field relevant to their intended career. Healthcare administrators must have a master's degree in healthcare, public health, health, hospital administration, or business degree (with courses in healthcare).
There are a number of benefits to becoming a healthcare administrator in the Navy, one of which has to do with getting through school with less debt. Although graduate degrees can be expensive, the Navy has very generous programs that can either help students get through school by providing tuition, housing, and living expenses, or help graduates repay loans. Depending on the circumstances, people may be expected to meet preferred requirements, which include graduating with at least a 3.0 GPA, completing a residency in healthcare administration, and obtaining a letter of recommendation.
About the Author:
Iris Stone has worked as a freelance writer since 2011. Her writing has included content on medicine, healthcare, and education, although her interests are wide and varied. Prior to breaking into the freelance biz, Iris worked in sales for a health company and prior to that as an assistant in a chiropractic office. She is currently attending George Mason University and is majoring in Political Science. Check out her Google+ profile.