ASCT Curriculum Includes Studies in Business, Clinical and Communications

The curriculum for the Associate of Science in Chiropractic Technology (ASCT) degree program includes both classroom studies, lab work, practical training and an externship, providing you the most comprehensive chiropractic staff training available.

The ASCT curriculum includes business courses designed to train you in the efficient management of all front office duties, including reception/scheduling/recalls, insurance filing, bookkeeping for the practice, marketing, and adhering to governmental safety regulations. It also includes clinical courses that give you skills in taking comprehensive patient case histories, giving physical, orthopedic, and neurological exams, assisting the doctor in chiropractic-specific exams, taking and developing diagnostic X-rays, administering several forms of rehabilitation therapies, and doing patient education in the office and in the community. Courses in chiropractic methods, philosophy, ethics and anatomy and physiology give you a great understanding of chiropractic and the human body. Supporting courses in written and interpersonal communications and psychology provide a foundation for effective communication on the job. A 120-hour externship at a local clinic gives you on-the-job experience even before graduation. 

For more information about the ASCT curriculum, please call (563) 884-5743 or e-mail us at undergrad@palmer.edu.

A.S.C.T. Curriculum 

Course Descriptions

Davenport, Iowa, Campus A.S.C.T. Program

  • Fundamentals of Human Biology
    • 1 Credit(s)
      This course introduces the basic concepts in human biology, including the composition of living matter. It also introduces the general terminology commonly used in human anatomy and physiology. Emphasis is placed on the construction of terms, the molecular basis of life, basic physiological processes, and the basic structure and function of cells and tissues.
  • Anatomy and Physiology I
    • 4 Credit(s)
      This course, along with Anatomy and Physiology II, provides an introduction to human anatomy and physiology, focusing on the organization of the body in a hierarchical manner, from the level of the cell up to the level of the human organism as an integrated unit. Anatomy and Physiology I will cover cell and tissue organization and physiology, structure and function, as well as the organization and physiology of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems.
  • Anatomy and Physiology II
    • 4 Credit(s)
      A continuation of Anatomy and Physiology I, this course will focus on the structure and function of the body as an integrated whole. Lecture periods will provide in-depth understanding of the human body and its regulatory mechanisms while the laboratory is designed to provide hands-on learning experiences to complement lecture material.
  • Computer Skills
    • 3 Credit(s)
      An interactive and hands-on approach will be used to present the fundamentals of personal computers and their applications in the dynamic environment of business. The course will focus on microcomputer hardware, software and usage issues facing decision makers as well as specific software skills. Specific to the Windows environment, including file arrangement and other features, keyboarding techniques, preparing business correspondence and using spreadsheets and presentation software in a professional office will be presented. Methods will include instructor-led discussion, small group activities, reading assignments, lecture, self-directed projects and hands-on computer activities.
  • Introduction Insurance Concepts
    • 1 Credit(s)
      This class will introduce the student to insurance terminology and insurance concepts, providing the student with foundational knowledge needed to perform coding and billing in a chiropractic office. Upon completion, the student will be able to verify patient insurance benefits, create payment projections for patients based on the insurance benefits and explain this to the patient. Students will also be able to describe the 5 most common features of cost sharing.
  • Bookkeeping
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course provides students with a hands-on application of bookkeeping in a professional office. Emphasis is placed on practical application relating to accounts receivable/payable, journal and ledger forms; preparation of reports; doing payroll; and understanding how to prepare and read financial statements. Both manual and electronic methods are utilized.
  • Office Management
    • 3 Credit(s)
      Basic skills needed to work in and manage the professional office are the framework in this course. Included are office skills-telephoning, Electronic appointment scheduling and patient records, and collecting procedures. A portion of the course emphasizes consumer/patient point of view and patient satisfaction.
  • Proc & Diagnosis Coding for Chiropractic
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course focuses on procedure and diagnosis coding in the chiropractic field including American Medical Associated (AMA) coding guidelines and application. Course will include most commonly used chiropractic codes including ICD (International Classification of Diseases) codes, CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes, HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedures Coding Systems) codes, and modifiers. Also included is an in-depth study of E/M (Evaluation and Management) code usage.
  • Insurance Billing Applications
    • 2 Credit(s)
      This course addresses the practice of billing for Medicare, Medicaid, group health insurance, workers' compensation, bodily injury, and other third-party payers. Accurate preparation of insurance billing, preparation of paperwork for a chiropractic patient, the appeals process, and keeping current in the dynamic insurance arena are included.
  • Business Law
    • 3 Credit(s)
      Basic principles of business law are the framework for this course, including the study of sources of law, contracts, torts including negligence/malpractice, litigation, principles of employment and government regulation, business legal structure, and consumer issues.
  • Nutrition
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course is designed to study the basic principles of nutrition. It will include defining key nutrition concepts and terms. Included are the discussion about the interaction of nutrition with health; defining food, energy, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, cholesterol, and alcohol; digestion and absorption; weight control myths and realities; eating disorders; nutrition and physical activity; and food allergies. The concept of disease prevention will be discussed in detail.
  • Chiropractic Methods
    • 1 Credit(s)
      This course introduces the student to the basic concepts of the numerous techniques utilized in the chiropractic profession. The student will be presented the instruments and equipment that are pertinent to the specific technique being taught. This course will also present the student with a brief philosophy of chiropractic and addresses how the Chiropractic Technologist is an integral part of the chiropractic profession.
  • Rehabilitation Procedures
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course covers therapeutic procedures used in the chiropractic office, including ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical modalities, stretching, massage and exercise. Physiologic effects, indicators, contra indicators and practical applications are addressed through lectures and lab participation, with primary focus on practical experience.
  • Clinical Science
    • 3 Credit(s)
      Clinical Science is designed to educate the Chiropractic Technologist student on the fundamental screening, regional physical assessment techniques and orthopedic and neurological exams utilized in the chiropractic setting. It also augments the student's basic knowledge of appropriate documentation for clinical practice.
  • Emergency Procedures
    • 2 Credit(s)
      The course covers basic procedures used in an emergency situation. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • OSHA Regulations
    • 1 Credit(s)
      This course introduces the student to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and to selected Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations as they relate to chiropractic. This course will prepare the student to create, and maintain a Hazardous Communications Manual specific to a chiropractic office. Specific subject matter covered in this course includes OSHA provisions for: inspections, hazard communications/chemicals, blood borne pathogens/universal precautions, emergency action, and ergonomics.
  • Clinic Externship
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course offers students the opportunity to apply their knowledge while working under the supervision of a Doctor of Chiropractic. The C.T. student will acquire first-hand experience in both the business aspects and patient care areas of a chiropractic offices and clinics, on or off campus. An introduction to line-drawing analysis used by chiropractors is also included. Successful completion of the Clinical Assessment Practical (CAP) is required to pass this course.
  • Written Communications
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course gives students an overview of communication and its scope and importance in the business setting. Coursework includes a focus on writing skills, business communication media, analysis of the quality of source materials, and the job application process.
  • Interpersonal Communications
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course will focus on the communication model, theories of communication and the communication process between individuals and among groups. It will also include formal and informal presentations and group activities to develop skills in these areas.
  • Philosophy
    • 2 Credit(s)
      This is a lecture and discussion class which is an introduction to the principles and tenets that embody chiropractic philosophy. The unique chiropractic paradigm of wellness will be established, and the instructors will develop foundations for the further study of chiropractic philosophy, science and art. People and events in the history and development of the profession and clinical approaches are also included.
  • Chiropractic Ethics
    • 2 Credit(s)
      This lecture and discussion course introduces the student to professional ethics relating to peers, other professionals, patients and society.
  • General Psychology
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course surveys the major theories, principles, and methodologies of psychology, the scientific study of human mental processes and behavior. This course will specifically cover the biological foundations of behavior, learning, memory, emotion, motivation, abnormal psychology and its treatment, and health psychology.
  • X-Ray Technology
    • 4 Credit(s)
      This course utilizes lecture, experimental work, image analysis, discussion and review exercises to assist the Chiropractic Technology student in learning the principles of physics applicable to X-ray production, the principles of X-ray exposure necessary for creating optimal quality radiographs, the process of assessing and controlling image quality, federal and state standards governing safe and effective use of imaging equipment, radiation protection regulations and practices for patients and occupational workers.
  • Radiographic Anatomy
    • 2 Credit(s)
      The emphasis of this course is the recognition of skeletal, and some visceral, anatomy on radiographic images. A variety of radiographic views are examined to compare different perspectives and different anatomy visualized. Anatomical terms are applied and radiographic terminology is introduced.
  • Radiology IV
    • 3 Credit(s)
      This course will prepare the student to create diagnostic images of the axial and appendicular skeleton. Positioning lecture material will be supported by experiential lab exercises to include radiation safety practices. Image quality assessment criteria, to include radiographic anatomy and physics principles, will be discussed and actively applied in the evaluation of radiographs. The application of relevant legal and ethical standards will also be discussed.
  • Radiographic Quality
    • 4 Credit(s)
      The emphasis of this course is the review and re-emphasis of the qualities necessary for the production of optimal quality radiographs and the assessment and correction of common errors that occur in the work place. This course further prepares the student for the ACRRT board examination by compiling salient parts of each radiology class in which the student has previously participated.
Contact Us

Davenport, Iowa, Campus
Academic Affairs
(563) 884-5466

San Jose, Calif., Campus
Academic Administration
(408) 944-6021

Port Orange, Fla., Campus
Academic Affairs
(386) 763-2760 

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