With the increasing needs of doctors and chiropractors in the hospitals, chiropractors are more into hiring chiropractic assistants for a helping hand and performing a range of activities to assist them.
Like most physicians and doctors working privately, chiropractic assistants also help in running the office load smoothly. If you’re interested in understanding what you need to become a chiropractic assistant, it is helpful to find the right certification and training, qualifications, and skills you need to become a chiropractic assistant and perform the tasks efficiently.
Not only chiropractic assistants can offer administrative help but they can help in preparing patients visiting for the first time. Here’s a detailed overview of how to become a chiropractic assistant and what degrees you may require to land your dream job. But first, see who is a chiropractic assistant.
Whom do you call a chiropractic assistant?
Chiropractic assistants are some of the essential pillars of chiropractic practice. The main purpose of assisting the chiropractor is to manage the office load efficiently while looking for the patients that they would get the best treatment they are looking for, Plus, chiropractic assistants depending on the tasks they have been assigned in a chiropractic office, there’s a high chance of professional growth for them that they can be next chiropractic physicians in no time.
Undoubtedly, the job demands high patient satisfaction and treatments but the growth that this industry has seen in the past few years is justifiable that chiropractic assistants have new hope.
According to the statistics shared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in the next seven to eight years, the chiropractic industry has the potential to grow up to 11%.
This translates to the fact that learning to become a chiropractic assistant would give you a stable career in the next coming years. In addition, with this, the opportunity of gaining knowledge and building a range of skills to help people will also be there.
To start with the journey of becoming a chiropractic assistant, you must have a GED or high school diploma.
What are the core responsibilities of a chiropractic assistant?
It is important to understand that chiropractic assistants are not someone who treats patients or gives prescriptions to them. They are engaged in other priorities and responsibilities of the office like scheduling patients’ visits, billings, and other necessary aspects required for patients’ care. Many times chiropractors hire chiropractic billing services to ease the process of treatments and to run the office management smoothly.
However, chiropractic assistants are required to meet the billing needs of practice as well. Chiropractic assistants are also responsible to look after the regular functions of a chiropractic office like filling out the forms, checking in insurance providers and associated required information, taking follow-ups, etc.
Management of a chiropractic office may also include;
- Replying emails
- Answering phone calls
- Sorting emails
- Making form copies
- Maintaining calendars
- Managing office supplies
- Gathering billing and insurance information, etc.
Depending on the chiropractic practice, they spend their time performing a range of responsibilities in a day. Most portion of their day revolves around digital activities such as updating the practice’s website and social media pages and checking and updating terms according to federal or state level updates.
If you have administrative skills, know how to effectively use social platforms, and are looking for a rewarding position in the medical field, then becoming a chiropractic assistant would be a better choice.
What additional responsibilities does a chiropractic assistant perform?
chiropractic assistant helps chiropractors in providing medical assistance and technical support to c chiropractors as well. This support includes;
- Medical record maintenance
- Taking vital signs
- Explaining procedures to patients
- Taking X-rays
- Preparing patients for treatments
It would be great for chiropractic assistants that they also have some basic knowledge of insurance billing and the insurance process that make them competitive with the other chiropractic assistants. Other duties may include taking care of laundries, and gowns, sanitizing, tidying the treatment surface, and doing minor tasks.
A chiropractic assistant acts like a bridge between the chiropractic practitioner and the patients. Oftentimes, knowing all the functionalities and thick and thin of the process, they perform as a liaison between chiropractic physicians and the insurance providers, tech companies, outsourcing media, state licensing bodies, and other prominent entities.
Along with a range of responsibilities, chiropractic assistants perform front desk duties, and customer representatives, and are the first point of contact for the patients and visitors at a chiropractic office. Once you get trained in assisting the physician and get experienced in the role, your expertise will be needed to train the junior staff and internees about the regular and day-to-day tasks to perform.
Required qualifications and Skills for becoming a chiropractic assistant
Any competitive chiropractic assistant must have the ability to multitask and have the professional skills to meet the job expectations. Many of the skills you learn along the journey you work and in the developmental stage of a chiropractic assistant in the field.
The first thing that is needed for a chiropractic assistant is strong communication skills. No matter where you work, you could be the first point of contact for many patients and insurance providers to have all the information about the chiropractic practice. To deliver the exact information that may not harm the practice at a later time, it is essential to provide the right information to the right person in an accurate manner.
Hence, public dealing becomes a vital part of the role. The rewarding communication skill must contain the ability to remain calm and keep your nerves in control under the pressure and handle conflict situations rationally.
Administrative and organizational skills
As a chiropractic assistant is running the office tasks majorly, administrative and organizational skills with attentiveness are some of the important skills. However, there are many chiropractic software that performs many of the tasks that were managed manually in the past which eventually lessened the efforts of chiropractic assistants.
Although the chiropractic assistant needs to check the patient’s visits and take follow-ups for the unpaid bills and check the insurance details at the time of admission. Maintaining cash flow is another task that needs administrative skills with the accurate management of paid and unpaid bills.
Becoming a chiropractic assistant – Required Academic qualifications
To kick start your journey of becoming a chiropractic assistant, enroll yourself in a chiropractic training program. Many times, chiropractors hire individuals with medical assistant certification. This medical assistant certification is offered by a range of community colleges in almost every state. To specifically become a chiropractic assistant, options of online training are also there for you to enroll as well.
The best thing about online courses is that you can take the training in the community college and study online at your own pace will benefit you side by side.
But before you enroll in any online program, check for eligibility in your state for chiropractic assistance. If they accept online courses as a part of the qualification for the chiropractic assistant position. Once you find out the required information, plan your next step.
Coursework for chiropractic assistant
The introduction to chiropractic assistant training will unveil the basics of chiropractic study and will take you to the road of procedures and the philosophy behind them.
Here are some topics you can expect to cover in your chiropractic assistant training;
- Chiropractic patient communication
- Patient scheduling
- Taking a patient history
- Maintaining medical records
- Maintaining medical records
- Recording vital signs
- SOAP notes
- Recognizing emergencies
- Billing and coding
- Biohazard procedures
- Therapeutic modalities
- Chiropractic ethics
- Familiarity with diseases
- X-ray processing and protection
As it is also required for a chiropractic assistant to have an understanding of coding and billing, the course work may also include training for Medicare and Medicaid guidelines.
In this timeline, you will be familiarized with the claim submission, commercial, private, and HIPAA insurance compliance, worker’s claims, personal injury claims, principal documentation, and other responsibilities involved in chiropractic practice.
In addition, a candidate must clear the certification exam taken online. Once the exam is cleared, they are then required to spend 300 hours under a supervised clinical mentor to have an experience. Working under a chiropractic physician, chiropractic assistants can perform administrative tasks but they do not provide treatments advice or perform adjustments
A licensed chiropractic assistant
Not all but most states require licensing before a medical assistant would contribute as a chiropractic assistant. The state’s c chiropractic board entities enforce chiropractic licensing requirements. These states include Nevada, Iowa, Maine, and Maryland.
If you want to pursue the field, it is required to look for chiropractic licensing needs in your state. Also, the certification and license are valid for two years. So every chiropractic assistant should renew their license and certification after every two years to continue working without interruption.