Long-term care management is a specialization within the field of health care that trains students to work with elderly patients and their families. This type of curriculum usually features a mixture of courses in health care administration, gerontology, and business. These courses prepare students to help manage care delivery, medical records, billing, finance, and patient relations. Jobs may be found with hospitals, nursing homes, or home health care agencies.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
While some entry-level administrative positions may be available to those with only a certificate or associate degree, options to move up will be limited. For this reason, a bachelor’s degree may be preferable. At this level of study, students can expect to complete both industry-relevant course work and a general education curriculum. This will lay a solid foundation should you ever choose to continue on to a master’s degree program. Graduates are qualified to seek administrative jobs in the growing health care industry with hospitals, nursing homes, or home health agencies.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Whether you are a first time college student or returning to school after time off, you should be sure to review each school’s admissions requirements thoroughly. These are just a few common requirements:
- High school transcript or GED test scores
- Previous college transcripts (if applicable)
- Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
- SAT or ACT test scores (if required)
- Application form and fee
- Application essay (if required)
- Letters of recommendation (if required)
Inside a Long-Term Care Management Bachelor’s Degree Program
Virtual learning has expanded exponentially over the past few years, giving students a number of options to earn a long-term care degree online. On average, a bachelor’s degree takes four years of full-time study to complete. This can vary, however, based on the number of courses you take at once, the specific curriculum requirements, transfer credits brought in, or any breaks taken from the program. Common core topics include health care operations, the aging process, clinical operations, management, gerontological counseling, health care law and ethics, and computer technology. General education requirements usually cover composition, humanities, natural science, mathematics, and social science.
Online programs usually operate in an asynchronous format. This means, rather than having scheduled class times, students can log in, complete assignments, view materials, post in discussion boards, and read instructor feedback at any time. They must meet set deadlines, typically on a weekly basis, but the rest of their time can be managed according to their personal and professional schedules. Group projects and presentations may be completed using video chat or web conferencing. In addition, any field training components can be arranged in your local area.
What’s Next for Long-Term Care Management Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
For those interested in earning a bachelor’s degree long term care programs can open a number of doors in the growing field of health care. These may be positions with hospitals, nursing homes, or home health care agencies. Knowledge of care delivery, operations, and patient relations will prepare graduates to fill administrative positions and possibly move into management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for medical and health services managers is expected to rise by 22% from 2010 to 2020. This is significantly faster growth than the 14% expected for all occupations.
In 2011, the mean annual wage for medical and health services managers was $96,030. For those working in nursing care facilities, the average was $80,750, and for home health care services it was $85,860. Please note, however, actually starting pay and job openings will vary based on level of experience, education, the job market, your location, and the specific position.