Kinesiotherapy Degree

Kinesiotherapists (also known as exercise physiologists) provide exercise supervision and education to minimize disabilities and enhance function and independence for patients. They often work as a part of the total healthcare team for those with serious illnesses or injuries, and begin working with patients right after the acute phase of their condition. It is often said that they are the bridge between illness and wellness.

Kinesiotherapy Degrees

A career as a kinesiotherapist begins with a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited school followed by a lengthy apprenticeship under a Registered Kinesiotherapist. The candidate must then pass an examination given by the American Kinesiotherapists Association (AKA) to become certified. While many of the courses must be taken through an accredited school, many general education and physical science required courses can be taken online.

A kinesiotherapist must get a bachelor’s degree from a school that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, majoring in exercise science, human performance or kinesiology.

Kinesiotherapist Job Description

Treatment by a kinesiotherapist starts with a prescription for treatment written by a physician or nurse practitioner. The therapist will then:

  • Evaluate the strength, endurance and mobility of the patient.
  • Work with the patient to develop reachable goals for treatment.
  • Educate the patient about what is physically causing the impairment.
  • Guide the patients as they perform exercises.
  • Modify the plan as needed.

Most kinesiotherapists will focus on one of six specialized areas: psychiatric, geriatric, extended hospital care, pediatrics, developmental disabilities and special categories including amputees and cardiac patients. In addition to knowing how each part of the body works with every other part, a good therapist will have good communication skills and enjoy helping people.

Kinesiotherapy began as part of the Veteran’s Administration, but has since expanded into mainstream medical facilities. You can find kinesiotherapists working at the V.A., as well as in hospitals, fitness centers, rehabilitation facilities, universities and as private practice consultants.

Kinesiotherapist Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data on kinesiotherapists or exercise physiologists. But according to industry sources, salaries vary widely, based in part on where exercise physiologists work. Most earn between $20,000 and $45,000 annually; those with doctoral degrees usually earn more.

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