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Chiropractic Assistant vs Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Chiropractic Assistant vs Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Introduction

When it comes to vocational training, it's important to choose a career path that aligns with your interests and goals. Two popular options in the healthcare field are chiropractic assisting and diagnostic medical sonography. Both roles play a crucial role in patient care, but they have distinct differences in job duties, required education, and career outlook.

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What is a Chiropractic Assistant and Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?

  • Chiropractic Assistant:

    • A chiropractic assistant is a healthcare professional who assists chiropractors in providing patient care.
    • They perform administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and handling billing and insurance claims.
    • They also assist with patient intake, including taking vital signs, collecting medical histories, and preparing patients for chiropractic treatments.
    • Chiropractic assistants may also assist with therapeutic procedures, such as applying heat or cold packs, performing ultrasound therapy, or administering electrical stimulation.
    • They play a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation of a chiropractic clinic and providing support to both the chiropractor and the patients.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:

    • A diagnostic medical sonographer, also known as an ultrasound technician, is a healthcare professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of a patient's internal organs, tissues, and blood flow.
    • They work closely with physicians to gather diagnostic information and assist in the interpretation of images.
    • Diagnostic medical sonographers perform ultrasound examinations on various parts of the body, including the abdomen, pelvis, heart, blood vessels, and musculoskeletal system.
    • They use their technical skills to adjust equipment settings, capture high-quality images, and analyze the results.
    • They also communicate with patients, explain the procedure, and ensure their comfort throughout the examination process.

Difference between a Chiropractic Assistant and Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

While both chiropractic assistants and diagnostic medical sonographers work in the healthcare field, there are several key differences between these two roles:

  • Job Duties:

    • Chiropractic assistants primarily focus on providing administrative support to chiropractors and assisting with patient care.
    • Diagnostic medical sonographers, on the other hand, specialize in using ultrasound technology to capture images for diagnostic purposes.
    • Chiropractic assistants may perform therapeutic procedures, while sonographers focus solely on diagnostic imaging.
  • Education and Training:

    • Chiropractic assistants typically complete a vocational training program or earn an associate degree in chiropractic assisting.
    • The program typically includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and chiropractic procedures.
    • Diagnostic medical sonographers, on the other hand, must complete a formal education program in diagnostic medical sonography.
    • These programs are usually offered at community colleges or vocational schools and result in an associate or bachelor's degree.
    • The curriculum includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, patient care, medical ethics, and ultrasound physics and instrumentation.
    • Sonographers also undergo clinical training to gain hands-on experience in performing ultrasound examinations.
  • Certification and Licensure:

    • Chiropractic assistants are not required to obtain certification or licensure in most states.
    • However, earning a certification, such as the Certified Chiropractic Clinical Assistant (CCCA) credential, can enhance job prospects and demonstrate proficiency in the field.
    • Diagnostic medical sonographers, on the other hand, typically need certification to practice.
    • They can earn certification through organizations such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
    • Certification requirements usually include passing an exam and meeting educational and clinical experience criteria.

Chiropractic Assistant vs Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: Job Description

  • Chiropractic Assistant:

    • As mentioned earlier, chiropractic assistants provide administrative support and assist with patient care in a chiropractic clinic.
    • Their job duties may include:
      • Scheduling appointments and managing the clinic's calendar.
      • Greeting and checking in patients, verifying their insurance information, and collecting payments.
      • Assisting with patient intake, including taking vital signs and preparing patients for chiropractic treatments.
      • Performing therapeutic procedures, such as ultrasound therapy or electrical stimulation, under the supervision of a chiropractor.
      • Managing patient records and ensuring compliance with privacy regulations.
      • Assisting with billing and insurance claims.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:

    • Diagnostic medical sonographers specialize in using ultrasound technology to create images of a patient's internal structures.
    • Their job duties may include:
      • Reviewing patient medical histories and explaining the ultrasound procedure.
      • Preparing patients for the examination by positioning them correctly and applying gel to the skin.
      • Adjusting equipment settings to capture high-quality images.
      • Analyzing the images to identify any abnormalities or areas of concern.
      • Communicating findings to physicians and collaborating on the diagnostic process.
      • Documenting procedures and maintaining patient records.
      • Ensuring the safety and comfort of patients throughout the examination process.

Chiropractic Assistant vs Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: Education and Training

  • Chiropractic Assistant:

    • To become a chiropractic assistant, individuals can complete a vocational training program or earn an associate degree in chiropractic assisting.
    • These programs typically take 6 months to 2 years to complete.
    • Coursework may include:
      • Anatomy and physiology
      • Medical terminology
      • Chiropractic procedures
      • Office management and administrative skills
    • Some programs also include a clinical practicum to provide hands-on experience in a chiropractic clinic.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:

    • Diagnostic medical sonographers typically need to complete a formal education program in diagnostic medical sonography.
    • These programs are usually offered at community colleges or vocational schools and result in an associate or bachelor's degree.
    • The duration of the program varies but is typically 2-4 years.
    • Coursework may include:
      • Anatomy and physiology
      • Medical terminology
      • Patient care and communication
      • Ultrasound physics and instrumentation
      • Pathophysiology
    • Clinical training is a crucial component of the program, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in performing ultrasound examinations under the supervision of experienced sonographers.

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Chiropractic Assistant vs Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: Career Outlook and Salary

  • Chiropractic Assistant:

    • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of chiropractic assistants is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
    • The demand for chiropractic services is expected to increase as more people seek alternative healthcare options.
    • The median annual wage for chiropractic assistants was $35,760 as of May 2020, according to the BLS.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:

    • The job outlook for diagnostic medical sonographers is excellent, with a projected employment growth of 12 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS.
    • The demand for diagnostic imaging procedures is expected to increase as the population ages and the need for diagnostic information grows.
    • The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $75,920 as of May 2020, according to the BLS.

Final Thoughts

Both chiropractic assisting and diagnostic medical sonography offer rewarding career opportunities in the healthcare field. While chiropractic assistants focus on providing administrative support and assisting with patient care in a chiropractic clinic, diagnostic medical sonographers specialize in using ultrasound technology to create diagnostic images. The choice between these two career paths ultimately depends on your interests, educational goals, and long-term career aspirations. Consider exploring the job duties, required education, and career outlook of each role to make an informed decision about the best vocational training for you.

Ensuring accessibility for individuals seeking growth, Dreambound strategically places its educational programs in various locations. Delve into a more comprehensive understanding of the exciting opportunities within these two vocations by visiting:

Joanna Paragas
Written by
Joanna Paragas

Joanna Paragas is part of the Growth team at Dreambound. Her primary role involves creating various automation to streamline workflows and make tasks more efficient for the entire team. Beyond her professional endeavors, Joanna enjoys spending her free time playing with her dogs and enhancing her knowledge by enrolling in online courses.

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