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Healthcare management MBA matches demands of a rapidly-changing industry

It’s never too late to upskill your career. With 20 years’ experience in the health profession, Bruce Campbell is expanding his skills with a specialised Deakin degree.

While Australia’s healthcare industry boasts a reputation as one of the best in the world, global events since 2020 have significantly impacted the roles and responsibilities of all health workers.

Now, as COVID-19 continues to reshape the narrative of healthcare delivery, the need for ongoing improvement in resources, systems, and operations has never been more important for the sector’s leaders and managers.

A continually-changing, complex landscape

Working in the complex, fast-moving healthcare environment was the motivation behind Bruce Campbell’s decision to undertake Deakin’s MBA-Healthcare Management (MBA-HCM) degree.

Bruce is the Occupational Therapy Manager with Swan Hill District Health in Victoria’s north and says that public healthcare is a continually-changing landscape.

‘It means that as a manager, you have to think outside the box on a daily basis. The pressures from the pandemic on service delivery and staff wellbeing need to be constantly monitored and reviewed and this is where every aspect of your management experience and the content I’m learning in the MBA-HCM degree come into play. It’s a degree that’s enabling me to apply best apply best practice in my role,’ he explains.

Lifelong learning – a career investment

With more than two decades in the health industry, Bruce has long recognised that life-long learning is one of the best investments for career longevity and success.

Initially working as a civil design draftsman, he made the switch to healthcare by training as a paramedic and working in Melbourne for six years before a workplace injury forced him to make a career shift.

Taking on a public hospital role, he returned to study and completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in occupational therapy, followed by qualifications in training and assessment, and health system management. 

‘For the past 20 years I’ve worked in the Victorian public hospital system … first as a Subacute Ambulatory Care Service Coordinator with Latrobe Regional Hospital in Gippsland before relocating 18 months ago to Swan Hill District Health where I’m responsible for the day-to-day operational management and service delivery of the occupational therapy team across the hospital and the community. Added to this I also undertake a small clinical case load that involves both inpatients and outpatients,’ he says.

Bruce says he chose Deakin because the MBA-Healthcare Management degree not only matched the demands of his career but he also knew of Deakin’s reputation in student support and education delivery.

‘I benchmarked Deakin with other institutions and also found that its MBA was highly regarded by employers. Additionally, because my wife had previously studied with Deakin, I was able to receive a family fee discount.’

Relevant, applicable course content

Since its launch in 2017, the MBA-HCM has cemented its place as one of the postgraduate programs of choice for health and business professionals who are looking to expand their skills in local and global healthcare management.

Now half-way through his studies, Bruce is finding the course content relevant and applicable to his hospital management role. 

‘So far, the units I’ve completed have provided me with learning, insights and strategies that can be implemented in my day-to-day practice. And while some of the business units – like accounting and finance – were initially challenging, all the content has been very relevant.’ 

One of the highlights, he says, has been the Deakin Advantage: Leadership and Professional Developmentunit.

‘This involved a 360-degree assessment which has been extremely useful to me both personally and professionally.’

Because he lives in regional Victoria, Bruce is completing his studies online and says that despite the occasional online challenges, there’s a strong sense of connection to academics and student peers thanks to the university’s technology, resources and support.

‘Being connected to different unit cohorts also allows us to gain a greater perspective and understanding of professional different roles and experiences … I’ve also been able to share my experience of the public health sector so it’s a two-way street.’

Never too late to learn

As a career clinician, Bruce is committed to advancing his healthcare knowledge and skills.

‘You realise that the more you know, the more you don’t know … and it’s never too late to undertake another course. I commenced the Deakin MBA-HCM as a 59-year-old and it is now an integral part of my lifelong learning.’