Kinesiotherapist Schools and Training Programs
Kinesiotherapist training can be attained through a bachelor's degree program in the field. Continue reading for information on the job description of a kinesiotherapist, what you can learn in a degree program and how you can earn certification.
What You Need to Know
Kinesiotherapists apply a holistic approach to rehabilitative therapy. A bachelor's degree in kinesiology from an accredited school and the required hours of clinical practice will qualify you to take the exam to become certified as a registered kinesiotherapist.
|Responsibilities||Use various holistic therapeutic methods to provide corrective therapy to patients with musculoskeletal or neuromuscular dysfunction|
|Degrees||Bachelor's degree in kinesiology or exercise science|
|Certification||Professional certification may be preferred by employers|
What Is a Kinesiotherapist?
As a kinesiotherapist, you can expect to work with physicians to help patients with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disabilities rehabilitate using a holistic approach to body movement. You might develop and implement a plan to help patients gain strength after an injury. With a degree in kinesiotherapy (also known as corrective therapy), you can help patients using aquatic therapy, ambulation training and home exercise. You must have knowledge of how the body works, and you must have the personality that nurtures those facing or recovering from disorders or injuries. You can work with veterans groups, learning disability organizations or rehabilitation centers. You can also create your own practice. Some kinesiotherapists work in a hospital setting or partner with physical therapists to offer a wider range of care.
Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degree Programs in Kinesiology?
Both well-known and smaller universities across the U.S. offer Bachelor of Science programs in kinesiology or exercise science. Some programs include a hands-on training component. Schools that provide these types of programs include:
- The University of Texas at Austin
- University of Maryland
- High Point University
- University of North Carolina-Charlotte
- University at Buffalo
- University of Utah
- The University of Illinois at Chicago
- University of Southern California
- Penn State - Berks
- Oregon State University
What Should I Look for in a School?
You can look for schools that offer programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). You'll also want to consider schools that allow you to acquire practical experience and accumulate clinical hours through a practicum or internship. You may need to be certified in CPR before beginning your practicum. Accredited programs can prepare you for registration as a kinesiotherapist.
What Kind of Training Do I Need?
Training can take 4-5 years, during which time you can earn a bachelor's degree. You will find few schools that offer a major specifically in kinesiotherapy; some offer this as an area of concentration within a B.S. in Exercise Science program. A bachelor's degree in kinesiology or exercise science may provide the training necessary to become a kinesiotherapist, provided you find coursework in:
- Therapeutic exercise
- Kinesiology or biomechanics
- Exercise physiology
- Motor skills development
- First aid
What Other Courses Might I Take?
You will also need to take courses in kinesiotherapy theory and practice. Some programs in exercise science give you the opportunity to choose a concentration in kinesiotherapy, where you can take classes focusing on rehabilitative techniques, evaluation and assessment of physical trauma, and corrective and adaptive physical education. Many kinesiology programs provide courses in sport psychology, neuroscience and nutrition.
How Can I Get Certified?
Certification is offered by the American Kinesiotherapy Association. Once you have completed a CAAHEP-accredited undergraduate program and 1,000 hours of clinical work supervised by a registered kinesiotherapist, you are eligible to sit for the certification exam. Once you pass the exam you will become certified as a registered kinesiotherapist. While certification is considered voluntary, many employers seek applicants who are registered kinesiotherapists.