Kinesiotherapy is defined as the application of scientifically based exercise principles adapted to enhance the strength, endurance, and mobility of individuals with functional limitations or those requiring extended physical conditioning.
Who is a Kinesiotherapist?
Kinesiotherapists utilize two fundamental modalities, exercise and education to enhance strength, endurance, flexibility, and mobility. The foundation of clinician-client rapport is based on education, instruction, demonstration, and mentoring of therapeutic techniques and behaviors to restore, maintain, and improve overall functional abilities. A Kinesiotherapist determines the appropriate evaluation tools and interventions necessary to establish, in collaboration with the client, a goal-specific treatment plan. The role of the kinesiotherapist demands intelligence, judgment, honesty, interpersonal skills, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. An attitude of respect for self and others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and a commitment to the patient’s welfare are standard attributes. At a minimum, a kinesiotherapist is educated in areas of basic exercise science and clinical applications of rehabilitation exercise. Training is received in orthopedic, neurological, psychiatric, pediatric, cardiovascular-pulmonary, and geriatric practice settings.
Where are Kinesiotherapists employed?
Kinesiotherapists work in every type of health care setting, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, sports medicine facilities, fitness centers, and private offices. They guide patients through therapeutic exercise, aquatic therapy, learning to walk, using prosthetics/orthotics, and developing a lifelong exercise regimen.
The American Kinesiotherapy Association says starting salaries for registered kinesiotherapists range from $36,000 to $45,000 a year.
What type of Education is Required to become a Kinesiotherapist?
The Kinesiotherapy major is a baccalaureate program that can be completed in 4-5 years. The total minimum requirements are 124-128 semester hours. The program has a comprehensive academic and clinical curriculum plan that fulfills or exceeds the minimum requirements for Kinesiotherapy accreditation. The curriculum plan includes an organized and sequential series of integrated learning experiences designed to achieve or exceed minimum competencies. All academic and clinical courses are guided by written measurable behavioral objectives and use case-based, patient-centered, problem-solving activities.
How Do You Become a Registered Kinesiotherapist?
Kinesiotherapy programs are accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and Kinesiotherapists conform to specific criteria for ethical, safe treatment of patients within the Scope of Practice and Standards of Practice for Kinesiotherapy. Graduates of accredited programs are eligible to take the Kinesiotherapy Registration exam.
What is the Employment Outlook for the Profession of Kinesiotherapy?
Demand for Kinesiotherapists is on the rise, because exercise therapy can help patients regain independence, recover from injury and recuperate faster following surgery, which can reduce overall health care costs.
Employment opportunities for Kinesiotherapists should continue to increase over the next decade as the demand for adapted exercise interventions continues to rise. Job opportunities for Kinesiotherapists in hospital settings should remain stable while opportunities in wellness and medical fitness facilities are expected to expand. This increased demand will be fueled in part by the increasing emphasis on preventive measures to offset the potentially catastrophic risks associated with various diseases and medical conditions. The increasing base of the elderly population and their associated debilitating conditions will also increase the demand for the type of exercise interventions that are indigenous to this population.
Updated: August 2010