Current as of January 2012
The Chiropractic Assistant (CA) may perform physiotherapy, electrotherapy, or hydrotherapy once he or she has received the certificate from the Board. The CA scope of practice does not include performing physical examinations, taking initial histories, taking X-rays, interpretation of postural screening, doing manual muscle testing or performing osseous adjustments or manipulations. (See OAR 811-010-0110 )
ANY TRAINED PERSON (including Certified CAs) may perform the following:
(Originally cited: 11/16/95; 7/18/96; 11/20/08) (Updated 4/3/09)
Clarify initial patient intake history, which includes recording or performing height, weight, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate.
Record hand dynamometer readings.
Demonstrate, teach, check and review with patients the doctor’s prescribed exercises
Facilitate provision of vitamins and/or supplements to patients as ordered by the doctor.
Relay doctor’s instructions to the patient on recommendations of nutritional needs.
Facilitate provision of cervical pillow or support as recommended by the doctor.
Make follow-up phone calls to patients on their progress as instructed by the doctor.
Schedule return office visits for patients as instructed by the doctor.
Schedule referrals as instructed by the doctor.
Check patient’s body fat percentage.
Perform postural screenings under the on-site supervision of a chiropractor, but only a Chiropractor may interpret the information.
May apply electrodes and conduct surface EMG testing, but the doctor has to interpret the results.
This list is not intended to be all-inclusive.
COLONICS or COLONIC THERAPY
The board determined that colonic therapy does notfall under hydrotherapy, and therefore is not an allowable procedure for CAs to perform. The Board felt there were inherent risks, such as causing septic shock by rupturing the bowels. (9/28/07)
COMPUTERIZED MUSCLE AND INCLINOMETER TESTING
Chiropractic Assistants may notdo computerized muscle or inclinometer testing. The Board considers this to be part of the physical examination. (9/21/00)
(DIRECT) SUPERVISION OF CLINIC STAFFThe OBCE was asked if
clinic staff licensed chiropractic assistantscould provide therapies in a business space next door to the clinic. The OBCE responded that the chiropractic assistant or staff personwho is supervised needs to be in the same office space (defined as the same building or space contiguous) as the supervising doctor. OAR 811-035-0001 states, "‘Direct supervision’ means that the licensed Chiropractic Physician is physically present in the clinic, is monitoring the activities of the supervisee in the clinic and is available to intervene, if necessary.”
If an employee and/or independent contractor is independently licensed to perform prescribed services within their scope of practice they may do so without direct supervision of the chiropractic physician.(7/31/03) (12/1/11)
ENGLISH PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENT FOR CA APPLICANTS
The Board reviewed this matter in light of a question from a licensee - May he interpret or provide an interpreter for non-English speaking CA applicants (to successfully complete the application and exam)? The OBCE surveyed other state health regulatory boards and determined that most other boards require that licensees be English-speaking proficient. Many of the other health-related licensing boards already have a policy, rule, or statute requiring applicant’s to be English-speaking.
The Board determined that ALL (CA) applicants must be proficient in English in order to complete the chiropractic assistant licensing process in Oregon. (May 2008)
The Board may deny a Chiropractic Assistant applicant certification with a felony conviction in areas that could be harmful to patients. ORS 684.100(1) states, “The board may refuse to grant a license...upon the following grounds: … (d) A conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.”
Any applicant denied certification for this reason has a right to appeal and make his/her case in a contested case hearing. Upon review of the hearing officer’s recommendations, the Board will then consider whether to approve the application, with or without conditions, or continue to deny.
INITIAL TRAINING COURSES
1. Training by the Supervising DC
Due to a need for more initialtraining courses for chiropractic assistants, the Board determined that a supervising DC may trainhis applying CA. The DC must be in attendance, and directlysupervising the CA during the training.
The Board determined that the DC must keep adequate documentation and submit evidence to the Board that the CA was appropriately trained according to OAR 811-010-0110. The OBCE developed a form which will meet all the points of this policy and the administrative rule. The form is available by request at the administrative office.
The Supervising DC and chiropractic assistant should understand that this does NOT preclude certification by the OBCE. This process addresses the 12-hour initial training only. Each assistant must still apply with the OBCE, take the open book exam and submit the required fees. OAR 811-010-0110 is still in effect and included in the chiropractic assistant application packet. (11/99)
2. Chiropractic Students training to be Certified Chiropractic Assistants
Seventh (7th) quarter students and above may use the completed course in Physiological Therapeutics in lieu of the OBCE’s Initial Training Program towards becoming a Chiropractic Assistant. A copy of their transcript or a letter from the course instructor on college letterhead will be accepted as proof of completion of the course. See OAR 811-010-0045 (3) for other specifics. (4/15/93)
3. Massage Therapists The Board determined that a massage therapist must acquire the 12-hour initial training because they are not trained in the hydrotherapy or electrotherapy. (11/99)
4. Physical Therapist Assistants PTAs may submit their physical therapist assistant education in lieu of the OBCE's required 12-hour initial training course to be licensed as a Chiropractic Assistant (CA)?
The Board determined that PTA's will be waived from the 12-hour initial training requirement if the PTA education was completed within the past five years, or if they have been continuously employed in the past five years. (11/99)
5. Other Training or Certification. If an applicant has a current certificate or license from another state, or adequate documentation of training, the Board may waive the requirements for the initial training course. (11/99)
IONTOPHORESIS AND PHONOPHORESIS
Chiropractic assistants may perform iontophoresis or phonophoresis under the doctor’s supervision as a form of physiotherapy.
May a Chiropractic Assistant perform “Kinesio Taping”? The Kinesio Taping Method involves taping over and around muscles in order to assist and give support to, or prevent, over-contraction. The Board determined if the supervising DC is trained in the taping method, that he or she may also train the certified CA also to perform the method in the clinic, and only while the DC is on premise. The Board considers this a physiotherapy. (3/15/07)
PHONOPHORESIS (See Iontophoresis)
RANGE OF MOTION
A chiropractor submitted a letter inquiring whether chiropractic assistants or any "trained personnel" may perform range of motion tests. The Board determined that chiropractic assistants or other persons may not perform range of motion tests. According to the administrative rule 811-010-0110(7) for CAs, it is clear that "the scope of practice does not include performing physical examinations…" The performance of range of motion tests is definitely a physical examination. (12/99)
The board was asked whether an UN-licensed person (either CA or DC) may provide reflexology treatment on chiropractic patients within the Oregon chiropractor’s clinic. The OBCE responded that this is unlicensed treatment of the chiropractic patients in the chiropractic clinic.
The inquiring physician is also a naturopath and this may be allowed under his naturopathic license for his naturopathic patients. Given this difference in scope, the Board reminded the chiropractor to always remember to chart under which license these services are being provided.
In conclusion, ONLY a person actively licensed in Oregon as a DC, or Chiropractic Assistant under the direct onsite supervision of an Oregon licensed chiropractor), may perform reflexology on the chiropractic patients. (11/20/08)
A Doctor of Chiropractic asked if his Chiropractic Assistant may practice Reike, a form of massage therapy, in his office without his supervision. The Board determined that the certified CA may perform this type of massage ONLY if the supervising DC is also Reike trained, and on premise to supervise. If the certified CA, trained in Reiki, is also an Oregon licensed massage therapist, then that is already allowed with the LMT scope of practice. (3/15/07)
The use of the terms for chiropractic assistants, “massage therapist” and “therapist” are misleading and should not be used, as per the Oregon Administrative Rule 811-015-0045. The Board also determined that the designation “CCA” or “CA” (see below) should be spelled out, since many people would not recognize the acronym.
The rule was changed so that “Certified” has now been dropped and we are now referring to them simply as “Chiropractic Assistants.” (9/16/2008)
WORKING FOR OTHER HEALTH-CARE PROVIDERS
A Chiropractic Assistant (CA) is only certified to work in a chiropractic office under the direction of a licensed chiropractic physician. Other health care providers may not have their personnel take the Board’s CA exam for certification in their office. (8/15/91)