What is a Certified Hand Therapist?
A Certified Hand Therapist is either a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist with specialized training involving the upper extremities (fingertip to shoulder). The practitioner will have at least 3 years of clinical experience and successfully completed the HTCC (Hand Therapy Certification Commission) process. The practitioner will also have at least 4000 hours of direct care within that time. Certified Hand Therapists have extensive detailed knowledge of the upper extremity anatomy and physiology that aids them in assessing and treating upper extremity disorders. Timely assessment and conservative management may result in prevention or delay of surgical intervention.
As of 2018, there are 6200 worldwide who hold the CHT designation (HTCC, 2018). There are less than 300 CHT in all of Canada and less than 15 Manitoba (as of June 2018).
What do Certified Hand Therapists Offer?
Certified hand therapists have additional education in areas of assessment, diagnosis, and management of the upper extremity. Certified hand therapists have advanced practice skills in the upper extremity (fingertip to shoulder girdle and everything in between), post-surgical management of upper extremity injury, splint/bracing prescription, custom orthoses fabrication (static, serial static, dynamic & static progressive splinting), measuring for silver ring orthoses, and wound care.