This past week we celebrated Hand Therapy Week 2018 (June 4-10), which is an integrated national program established by the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT). Hand Therapy Week is a time to highlight all that hand therapy is and all that hand therapists have to offer. So, what is a hand therapist? A certified hand therapist (CHT) must first be a certified Occupational Therapist (OT) or Physical Therapist (PT), whom has been practicing as a licensed therapist for at least 3 years. The therapist must also have documented over 4,000 hours of work with upper extremity patients (from the shoulder to the hand). Finally, the OT or PT must pass a board exam that has about a 60% pass rate!
In terms of years of study to even sit for the exam, the above-mentioned process takes about 10 years. Needless to say, CHTs have lots of knowledge and experience related to the treatment of patients with upper extremity diagnoses. In the entire United States, there are currently 6,044 CHTs. Both Oliver Serrano and David Myers at Ascend Hand Therapy are part of that select number of CHTs.
Now that we know what a hand therapist is, what is hand therapy? According the Hand Therapy Certification Commission, “Hand therapy is the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper limb, which includes the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle. It is a merging of occupational and physical therapy theory and practice that combines comprehensive knowledge of the structure of the upper limb with function and activity. Using specialized skills in assessment, planning and treatment, hand therapists provide therapeutic interventions to prevent dysfunction, restore function and/or reverse the progression of pathology of the upper limb in order to enhance an individual’s ability to execute tasks and to participate fully in life situations.”
In staying true to our core value of a fun loving attitude, Ascend Hand Therapy celebrated Hand Therapy Week 2018 in true fun fashion. We had various activities for everyone to join in the celebration. Some of the fun loving activities included a basketball free throw contest, a raffle, a photo booth complete with fun props, a challenging word search (courtesy of Oliver Serrano’s creation), and various tasty treats. The clinic was decorated to honor the occasion as well. A good time was had by all.
In addition, we received a certificate of appreciation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, which declared June 4-10, 2018 officially Hand Therapy Week in the great state of Texas.
We are grateful for the many patients, referring physicians, hand surgeons, physician assistants, medical assistants, and medical staff who have trusted us with their hand therapy needs. We love what we do and are privileged to serve the community in which we live. If you or someone you know is in need of hand therapy, Ascend Hand Therapy is here for you.