Taking Your US Healthcare Administration Degree Abroad
Want to take your US healthcare administration degree abroad? Here's what to know about how to do it and what to expect from it
Healthcare administration is one of the largest growing fields not only in the United States, but all around the world. The need for more hospital, clinic and nursing home administrators is growing as well as the need for healthcare administrators in various government programs and insurance companies. Taking your degree abroad gives you the opportunity to see new places and experience different cultures while still helping patients get the care they need. There is a lot of research needed to go abroad, however, and you probably have a list of questions to answer for yourself before you start searching for jobs.
Why Go Abroad?
Working in healthcare abroad can offer you many benefits, even if you ultimately want to come back to the U.S. to work. The biggest benefit is that you will get to see how healthcare is handled globally, this can give you some insight into what does and does not work for populations of various sizes as well as provide access to different treatment and equipment options. The experience you gain from working in a foreign country can give you a better appreciation of how well medical science can translate into a better world for everyone.
What Are Some of the Requirements?
Each country will have its own requirements for healthcare administration, but most will allow you to transfer your degree with only a couple of additional certifications or permissions. In the European Union, for example, you will be required to understand what EUDAMED is and how to use it. The European Database on Medical Devices is a system designed to track and provide information on approved devices for medical purposes and understanding how to use it will be critical to your job in those countries.
Which Countries Are Hiring?
You can find healthcare administrator jobs in just about any country by looking at job recruitment sites. This means that you can narrow down your job choices to the countries where you want to visit, where you speak the language or even where you feel there is the greatest need. Many countries will even offer orientation courses to help you understand the laws and culture where you will be living and working before you start your new job.
Should You Learn the Language?
It is important to know some of the languages used in the countries where you will be working to help you understand your patients and their needs. Many facilities will have specific requirements for how much fluency you need, and some countries will require that you take language classes once you arrive. Knowing medical terminology in the primary languages of the country will help you communicate with coworkers, insurance providers and patients more effectively and you can sometimes find classes which focus on these terms.
Which Companies Should You Work For?
Researching the health care companies before you apply for a job is an important step whether you are staying in the U.S. or going abroad. This will give you an idea of how reputable the facilities are, and how working there will affect your reputation, as well as help you understand what your role will be in the company. Putting some time into researching the healthcare industry and culture of the countries you are going to can also give you a good idea on how to find the best facility to work for because you will have context for the policies and regulations applicable to your job. Company culture should reflect the culture of the country where it resides, for instance, many cultures define family to include more than parents, children and siblings, so some hospitals will allow more to be listed on the approved visitor lists. If you know this before you start working there, you can avoid miscommunication about who can visit and who is approved for a patient’s medical information.
Taking your healthcare administration degree abroad is easier than you might think, but it does require a lot of research to get started. Choosing a country can be as easy as looking at which languages you are fluent in and which places you want to visit. You can then research what certifications and requirements you will have to meet to work in that country as well as the companies offering positions there. You can even find language courses to help you brush up on medical terminology and culture before starting your new job.