What is your job?
I currently work as a biokineticist in a private practice at The Sharks medical centre at the Johnson Kings Park Rugby Stadium. I also work for Discovery, with wellness for their health and fitness assessments.
Describe a typical day at work.
My job entails individual exercise prescription for the rehabilitation of the back, neck, knee, shoulder, hip and ankle injuries and conditions. Also sports injuries, fitness and wellness assessment.
I provide programmes for weight loss, general fitness, muscle strengthening, toning and definition.
I also make individual, supervised exercise programmes for the prevention and management of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, arthritis, osteoporosis and pregnancy (pre- and post-natal).
A typical day is made up of a variety of these roles.
How did you qualify for your position?
I studied towards a degree in BSc Sport Science, which I completed in 2016, and went on to do my honours in biokinetics in 2017, both from the University of KwaZulu Natal. Then I did an internship with the Sharks rugby team.
To qualify for university entrance for the course you need an average of 50% and above, a Grade 12 certificate with university endorsement. Life science and maths will give you an advantage in this profession.
What other skills do you need in your job?
You need good communication skills, as you work with various different types of people of all ages. You also need good demonstration skills for physical exercises, interpretation skills, very good time management, flexibility and good interpersonal skills that help with forming reliable work relationships with people from other health science professions.
You also need motivational skills to get patients through their sessions without giving up and a strong personality.
How did you find your job?
Through my internship, as I am currently working for the same person. But I also focussed my studies and I did well in my degrees.
My internship programme was a great way to get exposure in an elite sport environment and a clinical setting.
Why did you choose this job?
I could not see myself in a typical 8am to 5pm office job. Biokinetics allows me to use my passion for helping people and combine it with my love for exercise.
I get to experience working with various types of people, business professionals, young, old, athletes and children.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I get to help make people of all ages better. Children with injuries, posture or being the best at their sport. Orthopaedic patients with rehabilitation. Sedentary individuals achieve their goals in weight loss, sport or injuries. And helping athletes be the best at their sport.
You can’t put a price on the joy of helping people achieve their goals and living a better, pain free quality of life. It’s great to see and be part of the initial, dirty stages, as well as the intense work put in for competitions and winning.
I love my work environment, which is highly important to me. I get to work in a centre with an awesome team of highly qualified healthcare professionals like physiotherapists, doctors and a dietician.
What is the worst thing about your job?
You can get pretty tired from being on your feet all day. Your work hours can be pretty long in practice.
Would you recommend your job to others?
If you are someone who loves exercise and helping people, as well as being challenged with the human body, I’d recommend the job to you. It’s a very interesting job that exposes you to a totally different environment that teaches you to be strong and very focussed on what you do.
What does the future hold?
Our services are always going to be needed. But to survive in this industry, you must always willing to constantly learn and change as you are always working with new people and no individual is the same. You need to keep up your research. I believe we never stop learning, as we need to empower ourselves to give patients the best treatment possible.
This will really depend on how busy you are as a practitioner. Consultations can be anything between R400-R700. Follow up sessions can be between R250-R450.
How to finally get that promotion, how to find in a job in tough economic times, how much you can earn as a biokineticist and more career advice!