One of the most exciting times in the journey toward your chiropractic degree will be when you’re ready to see patients as an intern in your college’s chiropractic health center. Getting to this point in your chiropractic education is a significant milestone. Still, treating patients from within your community is a huge responsibility. Here’s an inside look at what you’ll be doing, the guidance you’ll be getting, and the ways this experience gets you more than ready for a chiropractic practice.
First Comes the Student Clinic Experience
Chiropractic students first move into student clinic scenarios in which they practice treatments on fellow students, friends, and family members while guided by chiropractic faculty. Student clinics often use an open bay concept where clinicians can observe each intern and provide help when needed.
In this phase of earning your Doctor of Chiropractic degree, a review of techniques and advanced instruction may be provided before and after treatments. After meeting expectations here, faculty members recommend students for the internship staff of a public clinic.
Helping the Community as a Chiropractic Intern
Working in an open-to-the-community chiropractic clinic will give you a feel for what’s it’s like to be a licensed chiropractor while completing your chiropractic education. An intern in the community health center scenario examines patients in a private exam room, allowing a one-on-one provider-patient experience.
After information is entered into the Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the exam is completed, the intern will exit the room to discuss the case with an on-duty clinician. Additional instruction is provided to the intern, or the recommended treatment is approved. The intern returns to the patient to complete any recommended treatment. This may include spinal adjustments, follow up care, and nutrition or lifestyle counseling.
How Students Qualify for a Public Clinic Internship
To advance into an internship serving the public, students must:
In the health center environment, student interns are expected to complete a minimum 200 adjustments and have had 10 adjustment evaluations while under the supervision of a licensed chiropractor. Chiropractic colleges generally expect approximately 400 contact hours in the community clinic per term. (Learn more about chiropractic internships here.)
Chiropractic Education: Getting the Most from Your Public Clinic Internship
As you get closer to your time for an internship, remember to get up-to-speed as best you can by gathering information. Learn to ask, “why is that?” a lot. In every class or lab, keep a “good idea” journal so you can reflect on how you might improve.
Here are some starter questions to ask more advanced students or faculty members before you move into an out-patient clinic internship:
The key to success in your future chiropractic practice is to learn the secrets of providing excellent care and satisfactory customer experience. Actual patient feedback confirms this. According to a 2017 report, a Gallup-Palmer survey said 97% of recent chiropractic users rated their care as effective, and nearly 9 of every 10 patients said they would recommend chiropractic to family and friends.
CUKC: A Comprehensive Chiropractic Education
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, the largest suburb in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The city is annually honored for livability, affordability, safety, and many other reasons.
Since 1922, the University’s College of Chiropractic has been a national leader for those who want to earn a chiropractic degree. CUKC is the only institution of chiropractic education still guided by a founding family member: President Carl S. Cleveland III is a fourth-generation chiropractor. Today more than one of every 10 chiropractors is a Cleveland graduate.
Eager to know more? Get more information about earning your chiropractic degree now, or find out about the chiropractic profession by downloading this FREE ebook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.