The bachelor of health science is a degree you can take either as a full four-year program, or in two parts: 1) an associates in health science followed by 2) a “completion” bachelor’s degree. If, like most people going after these degrees, you’re an adult with a full time job, breaking the program into two pieces with some time off in the middle can be a smart choice. Health sciences degree have remained popular in the tough economic environment, because health care is relatively “recession proof.”
The full BA (bachelor of arts) or BS (bachelor of science) degree normally takes four years of full-time study, but will probably take longer for a working adult. On the other hand, if you’re ambitious and disciplined, you should look for accelerated programs. Bachelor of arts programs will generally lean a bit more toward humanities courses than a bachelor of science. The latter is considered a bit more helpful in getting a graduate immediately employed in a hospital or other health care setting. Keep in mind that taking your bachelor in health science degree online can allow you customize a study schedule to fit into your work and family life.
Most bachelor of health science degress require that you complete 120 – 122 credits. Because it’s a full bachelor’s degree, your studies will include broad humanities and critical thinking subjects in addition to the medical and heath care administrative topics in the “core” curriculum. In the long term, these can make you better qualified for a manager’s job than an associate’s degree, which is usually focused more on pure health care practice topics.
Tons Of Choices
Because students often pick a specialization before they finish this type of degree, there’s often a wide choice of subjects you can take. Clinical and non- clinical topics you’ll be choosing from in a bachelor in health science program can include:
- Writing & communication
- Death and dying
- Leadership & management
- Health care delivery systems
- Management principles
- Nutrition, health promotion
- Social security
- Health education
With so many choices, you’ll need to make some decisions while you’re in school about what your career direction will be.
More Than Medicine
A key benefit of this type of “interdisciplinary” training is that it will get you ready not just to work in a health facility, but also to take the next step to a master’s degree or even to go into an academic career teaching a particular aspect of health care. Health organizations like to hire candidates with bachelor degrees because, more and more, they need people who can help them manage changes in health care delivery systems, technology innovations and extremely complex regulatory issues. The skills set grads are expected to gain from a bachelor in health science degree program include diagnosis & treatment, techniques for keeping charts, understanding laws that apply to health care, ethics and health finance issues. In addition, the degree should give you a knowledge of more cutting-edge fields like exercise science, alternative health, physical therapy and public health policy.
Beyond being a high school graduate, or an associates degree graduate if you want to a bachelor’s “completion” degree, having some real world job experience in the health field will help you get accepted into a good health sciences school. Once you’re in, you may need to choose either a “pre-professional” track if you expect to go for a master’s degree or a “clinical manager” track if you prefer to go right into working in health care after completing your degree.
A typical curriculum of a four year program would include a choice of non medical courses like English composition, fine arts, public speaking, history, algebra or accounting. The core professional portion of your studies will likely be divided among courses in health organization & financing, leadership, law and regulation, outcomes and evaluations, and information resources, which generally means a study of the key technologies in health care management today. The bachelor of health science will probably include options for research and independent study, where you can exercise some creativity in managing your own education.