My journey in pursuing my Master’s degree in Health Administration can be paraphrased by the words of the late musician Jerry Garcia: What a long, strange trip it’s been!
I have always felt a connection to the medical field, probably due to my parents who worked as medics, so I often found myself surrounded by medical professionals. To be honest, I saw myself more on the clinical side in the beginning of my studies when I first started college. The difference at that time was that I did not see myself in a hospital setting.
I was drawn to the medical field because I have always felt that my calling was in helping others, even throughout my academic pursuits. I started off majoring in Sports Medicine, and then Adult Fitness, before finally deciding on Health Sciences, where my emphasis of studies was in Health Promotion/Wellness. While my passion is still in this field, I knew that I was still missing something along the way. I just didn’t know what that missing piece was.
After working for about five years in the public health field and still not feeling fulfilled, I began exploring different options that I thought might get me on a path to success and happiness. One person I met along the way informed me that if I picked up a nursing degree to supplement my health sciences background, then I would be more marketable to hospitals and other agencies.
I enrolled in nursing school and began working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at my local hospital. I quickly learned that I would never be happy working in-patient care, but at the same time, I really enjoyed the hospital environment.
This exposure began my journey towards discovering and exploring the possibilities within health administration. Three years later and I am still working for the same hospital, but now I am an administrator in the hospital education service where I work to ensure that all clinical staff stays compliant with required trainings for patient care.
The late Nelson Mandela once said, “In our language there is a saying, Ndiwelimilambo enamagama – I have crossed famous rivers. It means that one has travelled and, in the process, gained much experience.”
While I am currently happy with the work I perform daily, I certainly don’t know that this will be where I wind up for my career. That, however, is the beauty of Health Administration – there is such a wide variety of mediums that you can work in.
With new focuses in health care centered on topics like population health, I think that the experiences I have gained that led me to health administration will certain help guide me throughout my career, wherever my journey takes me. I am sure yours will too.