Frequently Asked Questions.
Here are some common questions about Acupuncture Hospital Jobs.com
What are your consulting fees?
I assess the fees for any specific work contract on a case-by-case basis. Pricing depends upon several factors, including the complexity of the task, the estimated time spent on the project, and other incidental factors that may occur during the course of the project. It is understood that a clear delineation of the scope of the project will be defined in the contract and that fees are due at the time that Acupuncture Hospital Jobs renders service to the client.
How can I get hired at a hospital as an acupuncturist?
The journey to becoming a hospital-employed acupuncturist can be a lengthy and complex process. There is no single way or “secret key” to achieving this goal. I think that those who come off to potential employers as determined, timely, and professional instead of needy, desperate, or dependent will have an edge over other candidates.
Having a strong desire and unflappable determination to work in the hospital setting as an acupuncturist is crucial. Without embodying these qualities, no set of circumstances can keep someone from potentially failing at this task.
Otherwise it’s a logical, step-by-step process of identifying opportunities, seeking out job postings, applying for jobs in whatever format is required, interviewing perhaps multiple times, and hopefully receiving and accepting an offer of employment. Each step along the way requires work and attention to detail on the part of the candidate.
How much experience do I need to apply for an acupuncture Hospital Job?
Every position will have its own requirements. When the posting for the job I got went up, the requirement was for someone with 2-5 years experience in a busy practice. I had personally 2+ years of experience at that point.
I have heard of other less experienced practitioners getting hired into the hospital setting, so this is clearly a variable requirement. It’s easy to understand why hiring managers may not want practitioners with too little or too much experience. Newbies won’t have the clinical chops required to cut it while very experienced practitioners tend too get set in their ways and exhibit less adaptability to the hospital setting.
I think that finding the right mix of experience and flexibility to mold a practitioner into a hospital practitioner should be the goal of hiring managers around this specific requirement.
Is a doctorate degree required to gain employment with a hospital as an acupuncturist?
I would say no, it is not a requirement, but it does help.
In my own case, I was already enrolled in the Five Branches University D.A.O.M. program when I applied for this job and I was told that my employers preferred Ph.D. and D.A.O.M. candidates.
However, I have also known plenty of licensed acupuncturists that are employed at hospitals without a doctorate degree. I should also let you know one more thing regarding my own D.A.O.M. degree. When I earned it in 2011, I asked my employer for a raise and got a significant one – a more than 11% pay increase. Ultimately, my D.A.O.M. degree earns me more money.
What does a typical day in your acupuncture hospital job look like?
I get to work around 8:00 a.m. to get ready for the day. I log on to my workstation, launch the proprietary electronic medical record software that my company uses, check for secure messages and respond to any, check e-mail and respond to those (as necessary). I make myself a cup of tea and put on my lab coat.
My medical assistant is checking the messages left overnight and preparing the three treatment rooms we use for the day. At 8:30 a.m. our first patient arrives and until 11:30 a.m., there’s another patient booked on the 20-minute mark, making 10 total patients scheduled before Noon.
For each patient, the medical assistant rooms them, I come into the room with the patient already on the treatment table in a supine position. If it’s a new patient, I go over the paperwork they are required to fill out and ask for more detail regarding their chief and secondary complaints. If it’s a return patient, I ask about any progress and improvement (or the lack thereof). I ask the patient to point to the areas affected by symptoms if it is not already clear and determine which channels are affected. Through channel diagnosis (mainly) I come up with a point prescription and needle the patient.
Once the needles are in and the patient is comfortable, I turn out the lights, turn on the heat lamp (the music is already going by now) and step out to let the patient rest. Then, I return to my desk, document the clinical encounter in the electronic medical record for this patient. When the next patient arrives, I repeat this process and check in with resting patients about half-way into their treatment time.
We close the clinic for lunch between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. If every slot on my schedule is booked and everyone shows up for treatment, 19 patients get a treatment in a day. Our last appointment slot in the afternoon is 4:10 p.m. so between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. I can catch up on unfinished charts, e-mails or triage that is not yet finished. At 5:00 p.m. I wrap up the the last patient’s treatment, do a sweep of the clinic to make sure nobody is left with needles retained, and go home.
How much money do you earn at your acupuncture hospital job?
When I applied for the job I eventually got, a colleague of mine counseled me to ask for not less than $80,000 per year for full-time employment. In October 2007, that was the exact offer I received! I have enjoyed a great deal of success since starting my acupuncture hospital job. My peak income was over $100,000 per year here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Your mileage may vary.
What do you like about your acupuncture hospital job?
There are many facets of my work as a hospital-employed acupuncturist that I enjoyed. I did well for myself financially even when the U.S. was experiencing an economic downturn. I have been able to pay off debt, save for my retirement, and earn enough to live in a very nice neighborhood in a notoriously expensive area (the San Francisco Bay Area). There is certainly something to be said about steady income that comes in a paycheck every two weeks.
While I am a generally healthy person and work to maintain my level of health and wellbeing, I have had to occasionally use my health coverage provided to me as a part of my compensation package. I am extremely happy with all the service and medical care I’ve been provided so far.
I really like the 4 weeks of paid vacation I earn per year and I make it a point to use my vacation time throughout the year. Getting CEU’s and license renewals done is a lot more manageable as my employer picks up a significant amount of the cost of those things. I like working as a part of a team with medical assistant, nurses, medical doctors and administrators all focused on providing the best possible healing experience to our patients.
My hospital employer did not prevent me from pursuing business opportunities outside my hospital practice. Unlike medical doctors in this system, we can maintain private practices without placing our positions at risk.
Perhaps the thing I like the most is that in a very short amount of time I’ve given tens of thousands of acupuncture treatments. Whenever I learned something new in a seminar or CEU, I immediately came to work and applied it. My hospital-based practice had become a great laboratory or sorts where I could test hypotheses on clinical cases in real time. That kind of experience is hard to come by in private practice and I am now a far better acupuncturist for it.
What do you dislike about your acupuncture hospital job?
Having such a tightly-packed schedule means that if one or more patients is late for their appointment, it can throw off the rest of the schedule for that shift. I’ve had to work hard to ensure that the day goes smoothly. There isn’t a lot of flexibility in the patient schedule.
Treating so many patients per week is exhausting and requires proactive personal stress management, health maintenance, and burnout prevention strategies. It would be a mistake to simply brush this off as if saying, “of course I can do this, no problem!” This was how I thought about it before my trial by fire. Please don’t underestimate the importance of this consideration.
Because I was on the same floor as our department of physical therapy, it’s a noisy environment. I have unfortunately had patients complain about the noise level during their treatment.
Because our hospital’s regional model for acupuncture utilization is limited, I didn’t get to see some conditions in my clinic that I suspect could benefit from acupuncture treatment. There are only two indications which meet the inclusion criteria for acupuncture: chronic benign pain of greater than 3 months duration and nausea/vomiting due to chemotherapy.
Additionally, I was not allowed to practice moxibustion, herbal medicine, bloodletting, or retained needles (taken home with the patient). Even though the hospital doesn’t specifically exclude the use of guasha and cupping, there is no practical way to deliver these modalities in this very fast-paced environment.
Lastly, as a sole-practitioner department, I did not get acupuncture for myself nearly as much as I would have wanted and needed it.