After investing in a Master of Health Administration degree, it's wise to consider entering one of the MHA jobs available in gerontology to help fulfill demand in a fast-growing field. As the nation's large baby boomer population continues aging, it's expected that careers in gerontology will be among the next big things in the 21st century workforce, according to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a rapid 35% increase in gerontology-related jobs over the next decade. Demand will be especially high in health services due to society's shift toward prevention, promotion of active lifestyles, and self-management of chronic medical concerns. Whether you've selected a formal degree specialization or completed internships in gerontology, the following are careers for MHA graduates interested in managing programs for older adults.
Nursing Home Administrator
Nursing home administrators (NHAs) are responsible for supervising and coordinating the work of all departments in nursing homes to ensure quality care for residents. NHAs must be aware of all local, state, and federal regulations to make certain their facility is complying with all requirements to meet the needs of elderly adults with various conditions. NHAs use their budgeting and finance knowledge to keep the nursing home operating in a financially sound fashion. As a nursing home administrator, you may also interact with the community, manage medical professionals, and report to a board of directors.
Administrative gerontologists use their MHA training to create and coordinate services that will benefit seniors physically, socially, and mentally. Administrative gerontologists may oversee the operations of an assisted living center, serve as the go-to professional in a hospital specializing in elderly care, or directly help older adults file paperwork for insurance in public health offices. In this social services field, administrative gerontologists must have strong management skills to develop programs that are necessary for elderly services to run smoothly.
Many MHA graduates seeking a career in gerontology go on to work as hospice administrators to oversee and manage the operations of medical facilities providing end-of-life care for terminally ill patients. Hospice administrators are responsible for ensuring expenses fall within their established annual budget, hiring qualified staff members, implementing policies within the confines of legal regulations, and supervising employees within the hospice center. Administrators need to have solid business strategies to maintain the clinical, strategic, financial, and legal integrity of their organization in delivering cutting-edge care.
Those seeking to work independently can also consider becoming a gerontology consultant to help various different businesses plan for accommodating the unique needs of the elderly. Many gerontology consultants will focus on current issues in elderly care and target needed changes on a large scale. Gerontology consultants can help improve treatment for older adults by bringing changes to nursing homes, senior living communities, hospitals, clinics, or even human resources departments with elderly employees. Consultants help professionals understand the needs and psychology of today's aging generation to enhance their quality of life.
Related Resource: Become a Nurse Administrator
Overall, there is a strong need for qualified healthcare leaders to utilize their training to help meet the needs of America's large aging population. While earning your MHA, pursue formal training in the science of aging by earning a certificate or specialization in gerontology from a university affiliated with the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. Then, you'll have the prestigious credentials needed to unlock these rewarding MHA jobs available in gerontology.