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Writing in the Discipline

Health C​are Administration

1. Why or in what ways is writing important to the field of health care and the profession of health care management?

Writing is essential to the profession of health care management.  Managers and administrators at all levels in health care organizations are engaged in writing on a daily basis.  This may involve: writing strategic or operational plans, writing narratives to support a budget, writing grant proposals, drafting quality improvement plans, writing a report for a governing board or regulatory body, analyzing the impact of legislation or a policy, writing reports that summarize patient or employee satisfaction surveys, developing proposals for new programs or services, writing evaluations of programs/services and for many other purposes.


2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the WID requirement by your department?  Why these courses?

Writing assignments are integrated into all health care administration courses with diverse genres of writing being incorporated.  The courses that are specifically designated as WID courses are: HCA 201, HCA 401, HCA 303, AND HCA 461 and ENGL 230. HCA 201 is the first core health care administration course that students take in the program, therefore, it is important that writing is emphasized early on in the curriculum so that skills can be improved throughout the program. Writing in this course includes a research paper that requires students to learn the skill of comparing and contrasting. HCA 401 is Ethics and Law in Healthcare, in this course, students analyze ethical and legal organizations in healthcare organizations.  HCA 303 is Healthcare Policy and in this course students learn how to write analyses of healthcare policies. HCA 461 is the capstone course in the program where students integrate learning from other courses and synthesize concepts by exploring and debating contemporary issues in oral presentation and written papers. Finally, all HCA students take ENGL 230: Writing in Professional Settings, where they develop rhetorical knowledge of workplace writing and gain further practice with the various stages of the writing process.

3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?

Students will engage in writing that is consistent and aligned with the skills and competencies required of health care managers and public health professionals. Forms of writing include case studies to develop critical thinking and analytical skills and the ability to summarize a case or organizational problem and develop a proposal for solving that problem or situation.  Policy analyses are essential as health care administrators need to assess the impact of legislation and regulation on their organization. Students will write research papers as research is fundamental to health care administration as it is part of development of new programs/services, the evaluation of programs/services, and assuring that healthcare managers stay abreast of current trends in the industry. Finally, students will write papers that analyze the different perspectives of a topic or pro’s and con’s of a proposed solution, strategy or policy that addresses an issue in healthcare. In sum, students in HCA WID courses will learn and practice many different kinds and forms of writing.

4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?

Various teaching practices are used to support student writing in the HCA program. Students often draft papers for instructor review and feedback or for peer review with the opportunity for revision. Assignments are frequently sequenced so that students can focus on one section/component at a time and review constructive feedback that can be incorporated into later drafts.  Instructors routinely use class time to teach elements of writing such as APA/MLA formatting, paper organization, components of a literature search and other topics.

5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?

Students completing the HCA program should be able to write a thoroughly researched, well thought out and organized research paper. Students should be skilled at writing a policy brief or policy analysis. Students should also be able to write shorter papers that might require comparing and contrasting of ideas/concepts/models; analyzing an organizational problem and recommending solutions; or summarizing a white paper, policy brief, or other published piece. In addition, students should be skilled at writing papers that support or oppose a point of view or position, integrating learning from a course. ​

Page last updated: August 28, 2019