How emerging technologies are supporting chiropractic education

Date:  September 25, 2019


How emerging technologies are supporting chiropractic education

Female chiropractic student practicing adjustment technique in simulation lab

If you’ve decided to visit a chiropractor, you’re likely suffering from back, neck, or shoulder pain – and you want relief. You want to know that your health is in good hands, and that the healthcare professional you’ve chosen is qualified, knowledgeable and confident.

Think about someone you trust professionally. What makes them qualified to do the work that they do? Usually, the answer is education. All healthcare practitioners undergo a rigorous course of study – and chiropractors are no exception. In Canada, licensed chiropractors have at least seven years of university-level education (a minimum three-year university degree, and four to five years of chiropractic college).

In addition to their in-class studies, chiropractic education requires hands-on clinical experience under the direct supervision of highly qualified faculty. This includes an internship. The Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) has gone one step further in their education. CMCC has developed a technology to support hands-on experience in the classroom – using a simulation lab.

CMCC research has shown that students can improve their skills after just two hours in the Simulation Lab, where technology and instructors are evolving chiropractic education.1

How does the Simulation Lab support adjustment skills? Force Sensing Table Technology™ (FSTT®) that is embedded in chiropractic treatment tables allows students to finely tune their adjustments skills before they work on patients. First, the instructor demonstrates how a practitioner stands. Then the instructor walks students through the adjustment process, step by step. He or she provides feedback with a little help from technology and the patient, a mannequin. The students then practise their adjustment technique, with the monitors assessing speed, force, location, and direction. Using this technology, students can objectively see if they’re within targeted ranges and develop consistency.

The FSTT® project was funded in 2009 thanks to a grant from the Federal Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Every year since, CMCC has adjusted its curriculum based on the latest evidence-based research. This technology is achieving three things: Quality assurance, improving the efficacy of care, and improving patient safety.

“This is an open resource where students can come in and practice adjustments,” says Dr. David Starmer, the Simulation Lab’s education coordinator. “[Students] can come in and practice on the tables throughout the day. We also have faculty hired two hours per day and a student club formed to show up one or two hours earlier in the morning.”

At the CCA, we help support understanding of chiropractic care in Canada. When you visit a chiropractor, your health is in the hands of a professional with extensive training, practical experience, and specialized knowledge in the spine, muscle and nervous systems.

To find a chiropractor near you, try our Find a Chiro app.

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