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Everything You Want to Know About Being a Chiropractic Assistant (CA)

Updated on January 20, 2013
Want to become a Chiropractic Assistant?
Want to become a Chiropractic Assistant?

Do you think that a career as a Chiropractic Assistant might be right for you?

Are you considering becoming a Chiropractic Assistant? As a former CA, I believe that a career in the chiropractic field can be lucrative and enjoyable; however, it is not right for everyone. It can be frustrating to train for a new job only to discover that the salary, job duties, or schedule weren't what you were expecting.  That's the last thing you want to experience, so keep reading for information about a career as a Chiropractic Assistant.

What are the job duties of a Chiropractic Assistant?

The job duties of a Chiropractic Assistant can vary widely; however, here are several things you will probably do:

- Perform numerous forms of therapy on patients such as Heat, Ice, Spinal Decompression, Cervical Traction, Electrotherapy, and Ultrasound

- Order supplies for the front office and therapy areas

- Disinfect tables and therapy equipment

- Laundry (you will do lots of laundry)

-  Assist patients with paperwork

-  Verify insurance benefits by fax, phone, and computer

-  Educate patients about ways to minimize injury and speed the healing process by doing simple exercises

-  Assist the Chiropractor as needed (holding patients in place, refilling his supplies, etc.)

What is the salary range for a Chiropractic Assistant?

The average hourly rate for a Chiropractic Assistant is $9.76 to $12.90, and many assistants work part-time rather than full-time. The average starting rate for a CA is $8.83, and experienced Chiropractic Assistants make up to $16.64 per hour.

While more insurance companies are recognizing chiropractic care as an effective form of medical care, many are still hesitant to approve benefits. With that in mind, the chiropractic field is still a business, and the chiropractor you work for might offer you bonuses and incentives for things such as new patients, increased patient visits, and money collected from patients.

What training is required to become a Chiropractic Assistant?

Chiropractic Assistant schools are not available in every state, and formal training and certification is not always required for this position. Consider attending a medical assistant training school, or take some medical courses (like Medical Terminology) at your local college. Many chiropractors choose to personally train their own staff how to perform physical therapy on patients.

Jobs in the medical field are in demand; is this true for Chiropractic Assistant positions?

Chiropractic care isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and neither are Chiropractic Assistants.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for Chiropractic Assistants will increase between 7% and 13% by 2016, with possible growth of as high as 14% to 20% (due to the increasing popularity of chiropractic care).

What kind of people make great Chiropractic Assistants?

When you choose a job in the healthcare field, whether it's as a Chiropractic Assistant or a Medical Assistant, you're doing more than just clocking in and taking home a paycheck. If you're the kind of person who feels that being employed serves no purpose other than increasing your monthly income, you will not be a good Chiropractic Assistant.

Chiropractic Assistants should be calm, caring, and compassionate individuals who truly care about their patients. They must also be able to handle high stress levels and work well in a fast-paced environment.  A job as a CA can by physically demanding, so if you can't handle being on your feet all day or helping patients get up from their beds, this is not the job for you.

Final Thoughts

Being a Chiropractic Assistant is extremely rewarding, but it is also physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.  You're on your feet all day, and you see a lot of things that might break your heart (abused women, people dying from lung cancer who continue to smoke, etc).  You also see a lot of things that reinforce your faith in humanity.  If you're looking for a job that's more than just a job, consider becoming a Chiropractic Assistant.

If you could have any career in the healthcare field, which one would you choose?

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