In Summary - Chiropractor
The Work - Chiropractor
Chiropractors diagnose, prevent and offer treatment for mechanical disorders or problems in the body's muscular-skeletal system that can adversely affect the nervous system and general health. While they work mainly on the spine, they also assess the whole body and can treat a wide variety of conditions including backache, sports injuries and headaches.
The treatment chiropractors give is called manipulation. Using their hands, the chiropractor feels the patient's joints to find where the bones or tissues are out of line. They then manipulate the joints to adjust them back to their normal position.
There are three types of chiropractic practice: Chiropractic, McTimoney Chiropractic, and McTimoney-Corley Chiropractic. The main differences are in the overall approach and in the techniques taught.
Chiropractic is more mainstream medical in approach, while McTimoney Chiropractic and McTimoney-Corley Chiropractic have a more holistic (whole person) approach. All three 'schools' of chiropractic are committed to achieving the same professional standards of care.
At a first consultation, the chiropractor discusses the client's problem and takes case notes. Then the chiropractor examines the client, perhaps asking them to stand and move in certain ways so that their posture can be observed. If appropriate, the chiropractor will either take X-rays or refer the patient to have X-rays done (not all chiropractors take X-rays).
Another part of the examination is done by the chiropractor feeling the joints of the patient's spine and/or other parts of the body. The purpose of the examination is to assess the problem and identify the part of the body that is causing it.
Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, so the treatment is totally through the use of their own hands. Depending on the type of chiropractic used, the manipulation of the client's joints will be with a combination of large and small movements (Chiropractic) or almost wholly by small, swift 'flicks' of the hand against the joints (McTimoney and McTimoney-Corley Chiropractic).
The work can be physically tiring, especially in making a lot of home visits. It may also be emotionally testing, as chiropractors need to listen carefully to patients and help to dispel their anxieties.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Evaluate the functioning of the neuromuscularskeletal system and the spine using systems of chiropractic diagnosis.
- Diagnose health problems by reviewing patients' health and medical histories, questioning, observing, and examining patients and interpreting x-rays.
- Perform a series of manual adjustments to the spine or other articulations of the body to correct the musculoskeletal system.
- Obtain and record patients' medical histories.
- Maintain accurate case histories of patients.
- Advise patients about recommended courses of treatment.
- Analyze x-rays to locate the sources of patients' difficulties and to rule out fractures or diseases as sources of problems.
- Counsel patients about nutrition, exercise, sleeping habits, stress management, or other matters.
- Consult with or refer patients to appropriate health practitioners when necessary.
- Recommend and arrange for diagnostic procedures, such as blood chemistry tests, saliva tests, x-rays, or other imaging procedures.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Interests - Chiropractor
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
You will need to enjoy learning about the science of the body and how it works. You'll also need a logical and analytical approach to your work, and good listening skills.
You should enjoy working with people and have a caring personality. Tact and sensitivity are vital. Because the practice of chiropractic is based on the use of your hands, you will need a good sense of touch and flexible, accurate hand skills. Confidentiality and discretion are also very important in this career.
If you are going to be self-employed, you will need sound business sense.
Entry Requirements - Chiropractor
Pay & Salary - Chiropractor
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - 40k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.