5 Characteristics of a Kinesiologist

5 Traits of a Successful Kinesiologist

  • Patience
  • Adaptability
  • Like Working With People
  • Willingness to Keep Learning
  • Sense of Humor

A person considering a degree in kinesiology may want to know about the common characteristics of a kinesiologist. A kinesiologist, which may also be called a kinesiotherapist or exercise physiologist, works with people who have trouble moving in any way. These healthcare professionals usually work under the direction of a sports medicine or orthopedic physician, and they are often part of a team that includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, dietitians and social workers.

Related Resource: What is an Exercise Physiologist?

1. Patience

A kinesiologist should be patient. They may have to work with people who are uncooperative or do not think that the exercises will benefit them. They may need to explain how to do something or the benefits of why the patient should do it. The kinesiologist may have repeated sessions with a patient and only see small improvements. Some patients will require a long treatment plan, and the kinesiologist should see the forest through the trees.

2. Adaptability

Each patient’s movement disorder or condition will be different. What works for one patient might not work for another, so the kinesiologist has to be adaptable. The kinesiologist might need to modify an exercise to meet a patient’s current level of mobility or strength. They should also be able to adapt different types of equipment, such as the use of a stress ball to hold in the hand and roll against the wall for one exercise and to rotate with the shoulders for another exercise.

3. Like Working With People

A kinesiologist should enjoy working with people. The kinesiologist will work with patients from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. Those people may be lonely, and they may want to share some of the details of their lives with their treatment team. The kinesiologist will also work with other healthcare professionals as a part of a team caring for patients. A kinesiologist should feel comfortable conversing or explaining things to a patient. They should also be able to participate in meetings, conferences and other professional events.

4. Willingness to Keep Learning

To maintain professional registration and accreditation, a kinesiologist will need to take continuing education classes. Even though kinesiologists who work for the Veteran’s Administration, other federal agencies and publicly-funded healthcare systems need to maintain registration through the American Kinesiotherapy Association, all kinesiologists should be willing to keep learning throughout their careers. New research on treatment methods and techniques might change how a kinesiologist does their job, and staying on top of those changes helps a kinesiologist provide excellent care.

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5. Sense of Humor

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, another key trait of a kinesiologist is having a good sense of humor. Because a kinesiologist will work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances, it helps to be friendly, engaging and humorous when doing so is appropriate. A lighthearted joke may take some of the pressure off of the patient and help them feel at more ease during their treatment sessions.

These five characteristics of a kinesiologist usually come naturally to a person, but they can be honed or developed with careful practice. These are not the only five traits that will help a person do well in a job as a kinesiologist, but they are important to success in the job. Each of these five characteristics of a kinesiologist helps an individual provide excellent patient care and enjoy personal satisfaction from what they do.

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