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Chiropractic Assistant vs PALS

Chiropractic Assistant vs PALS

Are you considering a career in the healthcare industry, but not sure which path to take? Two options to consider are becoming a chiropractic assistant or pursuing a career as a PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) provider. While both roles involve working in a healthcare setting, there are some key differences between the two. In this blog post, we will explore the roles of a chiropractic assistant and a PALS provider, the educational requirements and training involved, as well as the career outlook and salary potential for each profession.

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What is a Chiropractic Assistant and PALS?

Before we dive into the differences between a chiropractic assistant and a PALS provider, let's first understand what each role entails.

Chiropractic Assistant

A chiropractic assistant is a healthcare professional who works closely with chiropractors to provide administrative and clinical support. They are responsible for managing the front desk, scheduling appointments, answering phone calls, and handling insurance billing. In addition to administrative tasks, chiropractic assistants may also assist with patient intake, taking medical histories, and performing basic therapies such as applying hot or cold packs.

PALS Provider

On the other hand, a PALS provider is a healthcare professional who specializes in providing advanced life support to pediatric patients. PALS is a training program developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) that teaches healthcare providers how to recognize and respond to pediatric emergencies. PALS providers are trained to assess and stabilize critically ill or injured children, perform CPR, manage respiratory and cardiovascular emergencies, and administer medications specific to pediatric patients.

Difference between a Chiropractic Assistant and PALS

While both chiropractic assistants and PALS providers work in healthcare settings, there are several key differences between the two roles. These include:

Scope of Practice

  • Chiropractic assistants primarily focus on administrative and clinical support tasks in a chiropractic office. They do not diagnose or treat patients, but rather assist the chiropractor in providing care.
  • PALS providers, on the other hand, have a more specialized role in pediatric emergency care. They are trained to provide advanced life support interventions and can work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, pediatric clinics, and emergency departments.

Patient Population

  • Chiropractic assistants primarily work with patients who seek chiropractic care for musculoskeletal issues. These patients may include individuals of all ages, from children to older adults.
  • PALS providers, as the name suggests, primarily work with pediatric patients. This includes infants, children, and adolescents up to the age of 18. They are trained to provide age-specific care and interventions for this specific population.

Training and Certification

  • Chiropractic assistants typically complete a vocational training program or earn an associate degree in chiropractic assisting. Some states may also require licensure or certification, which can be obtained through passing an exam.
  • PALS providers must complete a PALS certification course, which is typically offered by the American Heart Association (AHA). The course includes both didactic and hands-on training, covering topics such as pediatric assessment, basic life support, and advanced cardiac life support for pediatric patients.

Chiropractic Assistant vs PALS: Job Description

Now that we have a better understanding of the roles of a chiropractic assistant and a PALS provider, let's dive deeper into their job descriptions.

Chiropractic Assistant

  • Greet patients and check them in for appointments.
  • Answer phone calls and schedule appointments.
  • Assist with patient intake, including taking medical histories and documenting patient information.
  • Perform basic therapies such as applying hot or cold packs.
  • Handle insurance billing and maintain patient records.
  • Assist the chiropractor with any additional tasks as needed.

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PALS Provider

  • Assess and stabilize critically ill or injured pediatric patients.
  • Perform CPR and provide basic life support interventions.
  • Manage respiratory and cardiovascular emergencies specific to pediatric patients.
  • Administer medications and fluids as prescribed by the healthcare provider.
  • Communicate with the healthcare team and provide updates on patient status.
  • Document all interventions and patient responses accurately.

Chiropractic Assistant vs PALS: Education and Training

When it comes to education and training, the requirements for becoming a chiropractic assistant and a PALS provider differ.

Chiropractic Assistant

  • Vocational training programs for chiropractic assisting typically take around 6 to 12 months to complete. These programs cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, chiropractic principles, medical terminology, and office procedures.
  • Some states may require chiropractic assistants to obtain licensure or certification. This often involves passing an exam that tests their knowledge and skills in chiropractic assisting.

PALS Provider

  • To become a PALS provider, individuals must complete a PALS certification course. These courses are typically offered by the American Heart Association (AHA) and can be completed in one to two days.
  • The course includes both didactic and hands-on training, covering topics such as pediatric assessment, basic life support, and advanced cardiac life support for pediatric patients.
  • After completing the course, individuals must pass an exam to obtain PALS certification.

Chiropractic Assistant vs PALS: Career Outlook and Salary

Now let's explore the career outlook and salary potential for chiropractic assistants and PALS providers.

Chiropractic Assistant

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of chiropractic assistants is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for chiropractic assistants was $35,760 in May 2020, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $24,460 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $52,170.

PALS Provider

  • As PALS providers are typically healthcare professionals with specialized training, their career options are broader than those of chiropractic assistants. They can work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, pediatric clinics, and emergency departments.
  • The BLS does not provide specific data on the employment outlook and salary for PALS providers. However, healthcare professions in general are projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations due to an aging population and increased demand for healthcare services.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a career in the healthcare industry is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Both becoming a chiropractic assistant and pursuing a career as a PALS provider offer unique opportunities to contribute to patient care. The choice ultimately depends on your interests, skills, and career goals. Whether you prefer a more administrative role in a chiropractic office or a hands-on role in pediatric emergency care, both professions provide valuable contributions to the healthcare field.

Uncover the opportunities with Dreambound's programs, available in different locations. Dive into these two vocations by checking:

Fel Gonzaga
Written by
Fel Gonzaga

Fel is a student support representative who guides enrollees to the right program and answers their queries. She's committed to helping students and takes pride in her work. In her free time, she enjoys sightseeing and hanging out with loved ones.

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