Skills That Student Needed to Learn Kinesiology

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Writing is one of the most necessary skills we need as we grow up. When we look around, I can say that every career that we look into will require some type of literature knowledge. Depending on which career, the depth of its knowledge and types of literature may be different. The major that I’ve researched about is kinesiology. Kinesiology is natural science based major which could lead to many different jobs such as physical therapist, personal trainer, and even sports journalist. The kinesiology I focused on is a branch called health professions which is, most of the times, preparation to become physical therapist. Often times, people wonder why health professions students need to have deep understandings in reading and writing. Well, if you can’t critically read and write as a kinesiology student, you will be left far behind while everyone else are moving on with new technologies and treatment methods.

Before we dive into what kind of writing process physical therapists use, we should know how literature is integrated in natural sciences. Natural science is a branch of science that deals with the physical world such as physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. In the field, researchers are the ones who answers questions that we might have towards nature. For example, you may wonder why “as you drive, trees closer to your car appear to rush by much faster than trees in the distance.”(IGAW 209) These type of questions are the first step for the scientists to conduct research. As they come up with a question, they use scientific method, a method for conducting a research in the order of observe, ask a research question, formulate a hypothesis, test the hypothesis. And explain the result. Within these steps, there are multiple strategies we use called scientific writing process, with the order of observe and describe, speculate, experiment, and report. This process begins with careful observation of natural phenomena and leads to the development of research question.

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Because most of medical-science field require a lot of questionings and answers, kinesiology requires to use speculative writings, which seeks to explain how or why something behaves the way that it does. For example, physical therapists must know how body movement works and why physical therapy is effective to certain recoveries. These techniques are the basic writing level all physical therapists should be on. Because physical therapy is science based, knowing what to question and how to answer effectively and critically matters.Physical therapy is the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise rather than by drugs or surgery. The age of patients for physical therapy ranges from babies to elderly. According to my research through the website, “a world of physical therapy,” and an article called “CAPTE Accredited Physical Therapy Program” by American Physical Therapy Association, therapists are required to read and write daily. Most readings that physical therapists do is for patients- such as monthly journals, bi-weekly magazines, patient's’ record, patient’s progress reports, and yearly reading. Monthly journal is provided by American Physical Therapy Association, where there is monthly journal which features new treatment techniques for variety of different ailments. The bi-weekly magazines are magazines, which are out twice a month, features newest trends and equipments for all types of physical therapy. The patient charts are required to be continuously read and updated as patient’s condition constantly changes. Lastly, the yearly reading is a 20 hour continuing education class that all physical therapists do every other year as a requirement.

As we can see above, reading tasks cover about 50% of what physical therapists do in a nutshell. Without this much of reading, your studio or therapy will be outdated or may have treatments that are proven to be ineffective or wrong. Moving on to writing tasks. In a big picture, physical therapists’ writing tasks can be viewed as daily writing and weekly writings. Daily writing tasks are mostly constant updates for the patient’s medication, health status and their progres whereas weekly writing consists of new examination, workout plans and “new weekly patients” according to Jennifer Fowlers, a physical therapist from Arkansas (Reading and Writing for Physical Therapists). According to many physical therapists, students like myself must have abundant knowledge for medical terminology books such as anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, and neurology. For students who are entering this field, any books about human body and its movement should be good. In order to make sure these informations are credible, I had a conversation with my professor, Nate Meckes, about what kinesiology students read and write about. Nate told me that “having the ability to read critically and write effectively will be the key to distinguish all other ordinary students from you.” Then, he continued, “As a student studying kinesiology, knowing what kind of material to read about is always important.”

Unlike other therapists, my professor emphasized the importance of analyzing articles written by other professors or therapists. This way, I will be able to gain enough knowledge where I can start to have my own questionings and opinions whereas if I only read fact based books, I won’t be able to have as many creative questions and experiments as I would by reading and discussing other people’s idea. Lastly he mentioned the importance of scientific writing and professional writing style as well however he didn’t elaborate as much for writing tasks.

Throughout my research for kinesiology: Health Professions, I realized that medical majors not only require readings that are titled under its major but also requires you to have wide range of medical knowledge. As a kinesiology major, I learned that I need to learn many different topics for human body movement rather than reading a textbook only related to kinesiology. In addition, I’ve learned how much technical writings science-based majors need to do such as speculative writing where you write about how and why the ways things are. In conclusion, every majors are expected to have high levels of reading and writing skills and this applies for kinesiology as well.

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