Purpose and Mission
Chiropractors (also called a chiropractic) are trained to diagnose, treat and prevent disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and assess the impact of these disorders on the nervous system and whole body health.
The primary goals of a chiropractor are to relieve pain, increase mobility and to improve movement and overall health. Chiropractic treatment involves applying a specific force to adjust the joints of the body with the hands.
These healthcare professionals can treat chronic and acute conditions, including back, shoulder and neck problems, joint, posture and muscle issues, and various sports injuries. The treatment focuses on alignment and working together with the body’s natural healing process. Chiropractic treatments do not involve surgery or drugs.
Chiropracty utilizes a holistic approach, focusing on the needs of patients, and taking physical, psychological and social factors into account, and working with a variety of other healthcare practitioners.
Many chiropractors operate their own practices or work as independent contractors, so they may not have a direct supervisor. Those that work as employees may report to a department head or practice manager.
Some chiropractors have notable supervisory responsibilities. More experienced chiropractors may help with training and evaluation of more junior colleagues. Senior chiropractors may serve on the management committee of their practice.
In order to become a chiropractor, you must complete a five-year college program that includes a hands-on one-year clinical internship. The Chiropractic Board of Australia (CBA), together with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), is responsible for the registration of chiropractors and for maintaining professional standards with its Code of Conduct.
Responsibilities of a Chiropractic/Chiropractor
The typical professional responsibilities of chiropractors include:
- taking patient medical histories, including previous injuries, surgery, allergies, general health and lifestyle (smoking, drugs, alcohol, exercise level)
- conducting physical examinations, in particular the spine and posture, and the relative range of movement
- ordering/taking and interpreting x-rays or other diagnostic scanning modalities
- taking blood pressure and other medical tests
- developing an appropriate treatment or management plan for the patient
- performing adjustments of the joints of the spine and extremities using hands or specialised equipment
- performing a variety of soft tissue therapies including massage
- educating patients on rehabilitation therapies to assist in long-term recovery and techniques to maintain health
- maintaining accurate and confidential electronic health records for patients
- working closely with other healthcare practitioners and referring patients as necessary
- Attending chiropractic-related conferences, reading professional journals and completing trainings to reach the CBA’s continuing professional development requirements.
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