Health care management is a challenging field that demands flexibility, resourcefulness and creativity in an industry that is constantly changing.

Health care professionals working in management positions serve in a variety of settings, managing personnel and working to maximize health facility resources. Demand for health care management professionals is only increasing in an industry currently struggling to meet consumer demand.

Health care services increased 30% from 1996 to 2006, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives, and as a result health care management professionals are needed in a wide range of medical environments. These include: clinics, consulting firms, health insurance organizations, healthcare associations, hospitals, nursing homes, physician practices, mental health organizations, public health departments, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, universities and research institutions.

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More than 100,00 health care management professionals currently work in the industry, occupying positions ranging from department head to CEO. Health care managers and administrators deal with everything from finances to facility operations to ensure that the needs of staff are met, and patients receive the highest quality care.

In addition to working with clinicians, health care administrators also work in communities educating community members about health issues. The primary challenges for healthcare administrators are adapting to the continuous changes in health care, including technological innovations and health law.

Jennifer Leeper is a freelance medical writer.