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Seeing the Big Picture in Healthcare: Just What Can You Do with an HSAD Degree?

July 22, 2013

So just what can someone do with a degree in Health Services Administration? Students graduating with an HSAD degree have gone on to careers with health maintenance organizations (HMOs), insurance companies, hospitals, marketing firms, government agencies, advocacy organizations, clinics, mental health organizations and long-term care facilities, to name a few.

Drexel University’s Health Services Administration (HSAD) Program prepares students for administrative or managerial positions in the ever-expanding healthcare industry. Students gain a foundation in general management and economic principles related to healthcare, as well as an understanding of the administrative structure, operations and policies of the healthcare industry.

Michelle Sahl, PhD, an assistant professor in the HSAD Department, teaches many of the management courses in the program. “All students studying health sciences could benefit from many of our courses, as the curriculum provides the background for the big picture of healthcare which is so important in today’s team based care approach,” Sahl said.

Students in the HSAD Program at the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions take courses that teach key skills in finance, policy, law, marketing, leadership, management and human resources. They also take healthcare ethics courses in order to learn about the difficult decisions they may come across as an administrator or manager.

“Ethics is embedded in everything an administrator has to do,” said Constance Perry, PhD, an associate professor in the HSAD Department. Perry teaches a number of ethics courses for HSAD students and co-chairs the Hospital Ethics Committee at Hahnemann University Hospital. She also serves as the ethicist for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for Drexel University. Ethics is such an important part of the HSAD Program that ethics courses for all of the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ programs are delivered through the HSAD Department by its expert faculty.

According to the Bureau of Labor, the number of job opportunities in healthcare continues to trend upward. Sahl believes that, with the Affordable Care Act, there will be more jobs available for managers and administrators to help with the transitions associated with the new legislature. She also believes that there will be opportunities for entrepreneurship to bud as new niches develop in the healthcare industry, with changes sparking the creation of new products and services.