October 31, 2016, by David McCauley – Men and women entering the armed forces often face the difficulty of finding a career that matches their real-world aspirations. There are unfortunately very few tech sector equivalents to an Infantryman (11B). This isn’t the case with every MOS and in some cases, there are direct paths from civilian to military and vice versa. For those with a passion for the medical field and existing experience in health administration, the U.S. Army MOS Health Care Admin (70A) might be a great fit.
Health care administrators provide admin services across the vast network of the Army’s health care facilities. The 70A is a part of the Medical Service Corps and has a hands-on role in establishing programs within the health system to deliver patient care. According to the U.S. Army Medical Department, a Health Care Administration officer, “Plans, directs, manages, administers, and participates in the functioning of health care facilities and organizations. Participates at all levels of command in establishing and implementing policies and procedures affecting the U.S. Army Health Care Delivery System.”
Health care administrators are officers and must have a bachelor’s degree in health care management or a related degree like nursing administration. It’s very competitive, and the Army requires that you already have a minimum of 3 years of experience at a medical facility. It’s difficult for those without direct experience in healthcare administration to be assigned this MOS. If you can succeed as a 70A, you can use that experience to succeed in a broad variety of health admin careers post-service. If the MOS doesn’t already match your background, it’s possible that you’ll be assigned as a 70B or other derivative. The surest path to becoming a US Army Health Care Admin is to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Health Administration.
The Health Care Admin MOS is a leadership position that comes with challenges and opportunities that can prepare you for future success if you have an existing career in health administration, there are several leadership strategies that will help you make your transition. Different leadership styles succeed in different ways in patient-centered environments. The first major shift from civilian health administration to a military setting is adopting care-centered objectives. These include fostering community wellness as well as coordinating efficient resource distribution. Any soldier can tell you that making the most of what’s available is a key tenet of succeeding on challenging deployments. Becoming a leader is a challenge but the process is well worth it. Successful health care admins are great communicators, are capable of inspiring the men and women they serve with, can rely on their judgment in making difficult decisions, and understand that great leaders share responsibilities with others.
About the Author: D.M. McCauley is a former U.S. Navy sailor who worked in Intel. After the service, he has dedicated his time to writing and traveling with his significant other.