What is a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT)?
To become a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT), a physical or occupational therapist must be in clinical practice for a minimum of 5 years. This must include at least 4,000 hours of direct practice in hand therapy. The therapist must then pass a comprehensive exam of the advanced skills required to properly treat the upper extremity. Once certification is obtained, the therapist must then recertify every 5 years. This requires attendance of relevant continuing education courses and knowledge of advancements in clinical practice to stay current with the latest treatment options.
You May Benefit From Hand Therapy If You Have:
- Cumulative trauma disorders and repetitive stress injuries
- Flexor/extensor tendon injuries
- Fractures, dislocations and joint instabilities
- Infection or injury (nerve or bone)
- Inflammatory and degenerative arthritis
- Multiple system traumas
- Pain-related syndromes
- Peripheral nerve compression and disease
- Soft tissue injuries
- Splint fabrication (upper extremity)
- Tumors and cysts
From the Doctor’s Mouth:
“Just as you have chosen to see a specialist to treat your hand condition as a hand surgeon I always choose to use a CHT when ordering therapy for my patient. A CHT has chosen to specialize in therapy of the hand and upper extremity. This means they have more daily experience in treating hands than a general therapist. In addition they have had additional training in hand therapy as well as over 2000 hours of direct patient care supervised by a CHT before they are able to sit for the certifying exam themselves. In addition all their ongoing educational efforts are directed towards hand therapy and they periodically recertify with their national organization to ensure they are current in their techniques.“