Dreambound
Blog

Chiropractic Assistant vs Graduate Nursing

Chiropractic Assistant vs Graduate Nursing

Introduction

When it comes to choosing a career path, it is essential to consider your interests, skills, and the job market. Two popular vocational training options that many students consider are becoming a chiropractic assistant or pursuing a career in graduate nursing. Both fields offer rewarding opportunities to work in healthcare settings and make a difference in people's lives. In this blog post, we will explore the similarities and differences between these two professions, including job descriptions, education and training requirements, and career outlooks.

Article continues after recommendations

Recommended for you

What is a Chiropractic Assistant and Graduate Nursing?

Chiropractic Assistant

A chiropractic assistant is a healthcare professional who works in a chiropractic clinic or office. They provide administrative and clinical support to chiropractors and help ensure smooth operations in the clinic. Some of the tasks performed by chiropractic assistants include:

  • Greeting patients and scheduling appointments
  • Managing patient records and billing
  • Assisting chiropractors during patient examinations and treatments
  • Educating patients on exercises and self-care techniques
  • Keeping the clinic clean and organized

Graduate Nursing

Graduate nursing refers to advanced nursing practice that requires a graduate-level education. Graduate nurses, also known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), have completed a master's or doctoral program in nursing and have obtained additional certifications and licensures. There are different specialties within graduate nursing, including nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. Some of the responsibilities of graduate nurses include:

  • Diagnosing and treating patients
  • Prescribing medications
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests
  • Providing counseling and education to patients and their families
  • Collaborating with other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans

Difference between a Chiropractic Assistant and Graduate Nursing

While both chiropractic assistants and graduate nurses work in healthcare settings, there are significant differences between these two professions. Here are some key distinctions:

  • Scope of Practice: Chiropractic assistants primarily focus on providing administrative and clinical support to chiropractors. Their role is centered around assisting with patient care and ensuring the smooth running of the chiropractic clinic. On the other hand, graduate nurses have a broader scope of practice and are authorized to diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, and perform advanced procedures.
  • Education and Training: Chiropractic assistants typically complete a vocational training program that can be completed in a year or less. The training covers topics such as chiropractic principles, anatomy, medical terminology, and office management. In contrast, graduate nursing requires a minimum of a master's degree in nursing. Advanced practice nurses also need to obtain additional certifications in their chosen specialty.
  • Autonomy: Chiropractic assistants work under the supervision of chiropractors and follow their instructions. They do not have the authority to make independent decisions regarding patient care. In contrast, graduate nurses have a higher level of autonomy and can make independent decisions about patient diagnoses and treatments.
  • Salary: Graduate nurses typically earn a higher salary compared to chiropractic assistants due to their advanced education and expanded scope of practice. The specific salary can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and specialty.

Chiropractic Assistant vs Graduate Nursing: Job Description

Chiropractic Assistant

  • Greet patients and schedule appointments: Chiropractic assistants are responsible for greeting patients as they arrive at the clinic and scheduling their appointments. They ensure that the patient's information is correctly recorded and that they are seen in a timely manner.
  • Assist chiropractors during patient examinations and treatments: Chiropractic assistants help chiropractors by preparing the treatment room, positioning patients, and assisting with therapies or procedures.
  • Educate patients on exercises and self-care techniques: Chiropractic assistants provide patients with instructions on exercises and self-care techniques that can help them manage their conditions and improve their overall health.
  • Manage patient records and billing: Chiropractic assistants are responsible for maintaining accurate patient records, including medical histories, treatment plans, and billing information. They ensure that all documentation is up to date and that patients are billed correctly.
  • Maintain cleanliness and organization in the clinic: Chiropractic assistants help keep the clinic clean and organized by sanitizing equipment, restocking supplies, and maintaining a tidy workspace.

Graduate Nursing

  • Diagnose and treat patients: Graduate nurses have the authority to diagnose and treat patients based on their advanced knowledge and training. They perform physical examinations, order diagnostic tests, and develop treatment plans.
  • Prescribe medications: Depending on their specialty and state regulations, graduate nurses may have the authority to prescribe medications to patients.
  • Provide counseling and education: Graduate nurses play a crucial role in educating patients and their families about their health conditions, treatment options, and self-care techniques. They provide counseling and support to help patients make informed decisions about their healthcare.
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals: Graduate nurses work collaboratively with physicians, therapists, and other healthcare professionals to develop comprehensive treatment plans for patients. They participate in interdisciplinary teams to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

Chiropractic Assistant vs Graduate Nursing: Education and Training

Article continues after recommendations

More recommendations for you

Chiropractic Assistant

  • Vocational Training Program: Chiropractic assistants typically complete a vocational training program that can be completed in a year or less. These programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools, and online institutions. The curriculum covers topics such as chiropractic principles, anatomy, medical terminology, office management, and clinical procedures.
  • Certification: While certification is not always required, many chiropractic assistants choose to obtain certification to enhance their job prospects. The American Chiropractic Board of Physical Therapy offers a Certified Chiropractic Clinical Assistant (CCCA) certification, which requires passing an exam.
  • Continuing Education: Chiropractic assistants may also pursue continuing education courses to stay updated on the latest advancements in chiropractic care and improve their skills.

Graduate Nursing

  • Master's or Doctoral Degree in Nursing: Graduate nursing requires a minimum of a master's degree in nursing. Some advanced practice nursing roles may require a doctoral degree. These programs can take two to three years to complete and include coursework in advanced nursing practice, research, leadership, and specialized clinical rotations.
  • Licensure and Certification: After completing their graduate nursing program, individuals must obtain licensure from their state's nursing board. Additionally, advanced practice nurses need to obtain certification in their chosen specialty. The certification requirements vary depending on the specialty and may include passing a national certification exam.
  • Continuing Education: Graduate nurses are required to engage in continuing education to maintain their licensure and certification. These ongoing educational activities help them stay current in their field and provide the best possible care to their patients.

Chiropractic Assistant vs Graduate Nursing: Career Outlook and Salary

Chiropractic Assistant

  • Career Outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of chiropractic assistants is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. As the demand for chiropractic care increases, more chiropractic assistants will be needed to support chiropractors in providing care to patients.
  • Salary: The median annual wage for chiropractic assistants was $36,280 in May 2020, according to the BLS. The specific salary can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the size of the chiropractic clinic.

Graduate Nursing

  • Career Outlook: The career outlook for graduate nurses is excellent, with the demand for advanced practice nurses expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. According to the BLS, employment of nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives is projected to grow 45 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by factors such as an aging population, increased emphasis on preventive care, and the expanding role of nurses in healthcare.
  • Salary: The median annual wage for nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives was $117,670 in May 2020, according to the BLS. The specific salary can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, specialty, and the healthcare setting.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between a career as a chiropractic assistant and pursuing graduate nursing depends on your interests, educational goals, and desired level of responsibility. Both professions offer opportunities to work in healthcare settings and make a difference in people's lives. If you are interested in administrative and clinical support in a chiropractic setting, becoming a chiropractic assistant may be a good fit for you. On the other hand, if you aspire to have a broader scope of practice, diagnose and treat patients, and take on advanced responsibilities, graduate nursing may be the right path for you. Consider your strengths, interests, and long-term career goals to make an informed decision about your vocational training.

Discover Dreambound's program accessibility across various locations. For detailed insights into the two vocations, their requirements, and joining procedures, explore the following blogs:

Jessa Guzon
Written by
Jessa Guzon

Jessa Guzon is a member of the School Growth and Customer Success Team in Dreambound. She finds joy in assisting both schools and students in reaching their goals by answering their queries and connecting them with the right people. Outside her professional role, Jessa is a happy-go-lucky person with a thirst for adventure.

Share this post: