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Hospitals...Straight or Mixed Up?

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      We Chiropractors do not realize how good we have it. One day while working in the ED at our local hospital, an MD friend asked “Are you one of those straight or mixed guys?” I said “I am married with 2 kids. Why?”

      Dr. F. told me about an encounter with another local chiropractor who would never want to have hospital privileges. The chiropractor told Dr. F. how the hospital chiropractors want to be just like the MDs and try to do everything outside their scope of practice. He also tried to explain the concept of straights and mixers. Dr. F. wound up confused as to these types of practices.

      Following a brief discussion of this topic, we moved on to following up patients which he had referred to me for consultations in the hospital. He understood that we chiropractors are very educated outside our area of expertise, and can understand and have an intellectual conversation about the co- morbidities these patients are experiencing and contraindications to various treatments.

      It’s not about straight or mixers … its all about knowledge! Most chiropractors do not know what a chiropractor in a hospital/emergency room does. If they did there would be a line around the block of each hospital for credentialing and inclusion.

      In the hospital setting, you have to practice pure chiropractic. That’s it. That is what your job is. Whatever your state’s scope of practice and the bylaws of your hospital allow, you are allowed to do. You are not a MD wannabe. You do not want to give medicine. You do not treat people that should not be treated. You adjust sick people that are in dire need of a chiropractic adjustment. You just do it in a hospital setting and then follow up with them in your own private office. That is it!!! In the mean time, you may be lucky enough to get some extra education from the team of health professionals that are co treating your patients. The stimulation to your cerebral hemispheres may also inspire you to teach and educate the medical and nursing profession about chiropractic. Respect will follow.

      Another big question we always get from our profession is about MUA. If you choose to perform MUA, you may... or may not in a hospital setting. If you want to order therapy modalities and maybe use a little heat or ice or traction ... you may. Practice as you wish. Just make sure you deliver a chiropractic adjustment to all your patients in some form and the word will spread. Spend the extra time with these patients and let them know you are on their side and will try to help them make an informed decision as to which treatment options are truly necessary.

      In the hospital, patients already have a full medical work up for problems outside your scope of practice so all you have to do is your specialty…ADJUST! We are now aware certain techniques work better in a hospital setting and for certain emergency room calls that are more acute than anything we would normally see in our offices. After 10 years of treating hospital/emergency based patients no one knows more about this type of practice than the few of us around the country that are in the trenches. We need more help!

      What better way to spread the word of chiropractic than to heal sick people in a hospital setting, working with the medical team. It’s not about straight or mixer any more. It is about delivering chiropractic in a whole new setting for whole new population of patients that are in true need of an adjustment. So stop the bickering and ask your medical colleagues, the ones who see the results chiropractic delivers, to help YOU start a chiropractic department at your local hospital. The time has come. Mainstream health care is billion dollar a year industry and Chiropractic, vitamins, alternative medicine, massage, acupuncture, all have their place. Do not re-invent the wheel. Copy what the AAHC is doing in hospitals and continue this effort nationally. When more patients and professionals see chiropractors co-existing with other providers and, more importantly, with each other, our profession will not be able to supply enough chiropractors for the local hospitals and Emergency rooms. It is happening as we speak. It’s not about being mixed or straight. It is about allowing our profession to expand to treat a new group of patients that would never be seen if we were not present.

      If you need any help in starting a department or approaching your local hospital, contact the AAHC for more information. Remember, most people in the medical profession are starting to realize that chiropractors help patients, refer patients and have a place in the traditional medical system. Our team can help you achieve this goal.

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