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The Difference Between a Degree in Healthcare Management & Health Science

by Kate Prudchenko

As the health care industry has grown in recent years, there has been an increasing need for educated, creative and dedicated professionals to manage the delivery of patient care and the implementation of health care policies. These professionals help promote community health and wellness by educating the public and helping health practitioners implement the latest research. Many universities offer degrees at both the bachelor’s and master’s level to prepare students for these roles, two of which are degrees in health care management and health science.

Health Care Management

Universities and colleges offer degree programs in health management to students who are interested in managing the complexities of running a health care organization. Students in these programs learn how to find and implement research and best practices from around the industry to improve health care delivery and organizational efficiency. Graduates go on to careers as managers in health care organizations like hospitals, clinics or health management organizations.

Health Care Management Curriculum

Degrees in health care management are based on a core business curriculum with specialized health care classes included to help students understand the special issues facing health care businesses. The core curriculum includes courses in financial accounting and financial management that give students the tools to manage the budgets and financial planning of health care organizations. Students also take classes in public health and epidemiology, which help them gain an understanding of the health issues facing their staff and patients. Courses like health care operations management use case studies to help students learn how to solve managerial problems in the complex and heavily regulated health services industry.

Health Science

The goal of programs in health science is to provide students with the knowledge and training to promote healthy behaviors in the community through education. The degree requires that the student be competent in both scientific and educational disciplines. Graduates in health science generally work as educators either at primary and secondary schools or in community organizations. They develop health education curriculum and materials as well as provide children and adults with direct instruction in health promotion and disease prevention.

Health Science Curriculum

The health science curriculum combines core science and health topics with educational theory to help students develop a strong foundation in both the knowledge and methods of health education. Students take courses in biology, chemistry and human anatomy, which are prerequisites for advanced science classes like chronic and communicable diseases. Students also take classes in major community health issues like sexuality in a diverse society, drugs in our culture, and nutrition and weight control. Specific classes in education, like measurement and evaluation in health education, teach students how to deliver health science instruction in an effective manner.

About the Author

Kate Prudchenko has been a writer and editor for five years, publishing peer-reviewed articles, essays, and book chapters in a variety of publications including Immersive Environments: Future Trends in Education and Contemporary Literary Review India. She has a BA and MS in Mathematics, MA in English/Writing, and is completing a PhD in Education.

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