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Introduction to career and goals
With the increasingly high numbers of graduates in different fields of study and levels of competition for salaried employment, post-graduate studies and experience are gaining popularity as sure ways for individuals to secure themselves a future (Dwivedi, 2009). This is precisely the reason I have devotedly committed myself to the pursuit of higher education. Most academic ventures have a career goal attached to them, and so is mine.
The goal I purpose to achieve at the end of my course is to become an administrator of a social service agency that deals with drug and alcohol abuse, child welfare, or working with children and families. To be able to achieve these goals, I decided that this course would place me at a competitive advantage over most of my fellow graduates. The sole reason I enrolled in the Health and Human Services Administration Master’s program was to gain extensive knowledge to prepare me for a position as a social service administrator. The recent trends in the hiring of managers are that companies are looking for highly qualified post-graduates since it is imperatively advantageous to have an administrator who is more learned and experienced than the other employees.
Strengths and weaknesses
This course has had a long-lasting influence on the pursuit of my career goal. Through this course, I have continually gained and sharpened my skills in readiness for the job market. This Health and Human Services Administration Master’s program has provided me with the tools necessary to be an effective leader. Through this program, I have undertaken the following courses: Management Principles, Health Informatics, Labor Relations, Human Services Administration, Human Resource Management, Lifespan Development, Common Diseases and Treatment, Ethics and Public Policy in Human Services, Fundamentals of Project Management, Healthcare Financial Management, Academic Research, and Writing, and Long-Term/Human Services System.
The underlying goal of these courses is to impact human resource management skills, enable me to know how to treat those I administer, become up to speed with technology and its importance in healthcare and administration, and develop relationships that are more professional in nature.
In this section, I will discuss some of the reasons why I think I am best-placed in my career and the areas I need to sharpen my metrics. First, as a master’s program level student, I have gained a lot, if not all, of skills and academic exposure necessary for me to execute my career professionally and successfully. During the course, I have learned the value of commitment and expertise whenever I am relating to my clients and fellow staff.
Moreover, some of the personal attributes that I possess have helped me a great deal. I feel that I have what it takes to become a successful administrator of a social service agency because I am a committed and goal-oriented person. This attribute has helped me in my experience to own up my pursuit and even use up my personal resources to make sure I achieve whatever I set out to do. In addition, my actions and decisions are not rational but rather inspired by the goal I have for a particular situation. I am a good listener who gives people a chance to make suggestions and correct me whenever I am wrong.
Most importantly, I have a high sense of self-motivation to keep trying to succeed even when it seems impossible. However, I acknowledge that I still have a few areas I need to explore for me to be the best administrator. Some of these include the fact that I do not have tolerance for laxity or poor performance, and this is one of the things I cannot condone as an administrator. Although it might seem like a strength, it is a weakness in that it might make me get into unnecessary wrangles with employees.
The ACHE competence assessment tool capitalizes on “assessing the level of expertise of healthcare administrators in respect to communication and relationship management, professionalism, leadership, knowledge of the healthcare system, and business skills and knowledge” (Dwivedi, 2009, p. 15). Based on these assessment areas, I have achieved quite a good level of competence. I have competent communication skills, leadership and behavioral skills, high personal and professional accountability and professional development, and lifelong learning.
As a master’s program student, I have broad knowledge in matters of healthcare systems and organizations, treatment of personnel, and patients. My general management skills are high, but I have little financial and human resource management skills. Furthermore, I have little expertise and exposure in facilitation and negotiation skills, quality improvement, information management, communicating the vision, and change management.
One of the reasons why I have been able to achieve this skillfulness is because I have participated in several co-curricular activities such as the one where I was a Foster Care Caseworker. During this time, I managed a caseload of 10-15 foster children where my primary activity was to provide case management to foster children and their prospective homes. From this exercise, I learned and practiced dexterous leadership and behavioral skills, as well as high personal and professional accountability.
Furthermore, during the work, I interacted with a multidisciplinary team and provided the following services: attended necessary meetings and court hearings, completed reports and documents promptly, and was involved in crisis intervention. These activities heaped on my knowledge on how to handle other people whenever they are in ambiguous situations, appreciate the importance of information and technology, and become a better listener especially where communication with minors is concerned.
Rationalization of assessment
My experience as a Foster Care Caseworker has had a significant impact on my administration skills. Through the experience gained, I have become a better listener than I was and I am in a better condition to understand arguments not only from an administrator’s point of view but also from the patients’ perspective (Showalter & Southwick, 1999). Through the work, I was able to appreciate the role that environment plays in the community, and how the two interrelate to make conditions easier for management. The experience gained has helped me to sharpen my general management skills. I learned that after some time, the administration could leave an issue to an employee to look into and come up with a solution.
This experience has helped me as a participant to learn the difficulty and ease of coming up with solutions to problems. Most importantly, the lessons that I learned during my work with the foster care facility were important in helping me realize the value of possessing financial management skills as this is an excellent way to determine one’s accountability levels in a work setting. Overall, my experience in the past and now as a master’s level student, work in tandem to put me at an advantage when it comes to delivering highly in my profession.
Dwivedi, A. (2009). Handbook of research on information technology management and clinical data administration in healthcare. Hershey, PA: Medical Information Science Reference.
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Showalter, J. & Southwick, A. (1999). Southwick’s the law of healthcare administration. Chicago: Health Administration Press.