We’re Celebrating Hand Therapy Week 2019Therapy It’s National Hand Therapy Week so this week we proudly salute our 10 Occupational Therapists who practice hand therapy, six of whom are Certified Hand Therapists. A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is an Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist who has a minimum of three years of clinical experience including 4,000 or more hours in direct practice in hand therapy. In addition, the CHT has successfully passed a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory. Congratulations to our Optim Therapy hand specialists!Lisa Smith, OTR/L, CHTOptim Therapy Administrator & Director of Occupational TherapyBob Phillips, OTR/L, CHTOccupational Therapy CoordinatorAshley Vaughan, OTR/L, CHTDawn Snipes, OTR/L, CHT, CLTEric Spreeman, OTR/L, CHTMerian Mendoza, OTR/L, CHTSierra Jenks, OTR/L Nathalie Loubert, OTR/LErin Walden, OTR/LKelcie Walker, OTR/LMore about Hand Therapy from the American Society of Hand Therapists:What is Hand Therapy?Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). Hand therapy uses a number of therapeutic interventions to help return a person to their highest level of function.Hand therapy evolved from the need for a specialist with the knowledge and experience required to manage the challenging recovery of complex hand and upper extremity injuries.Who are Hand Therapists?Hand therapists are licensed or registered occupational therapists or physical therapists who, through advanced study and experience, specialize in treating individuals with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremity.To obtain the CHT credential, a hand therapist must practice as an OT or PT for a minimum of three years, accumulating at least 4,000 hours of hand and upper extremity experience. Hand therapists must also pass a rigorous certification examination to demonstrate their competency in the practice of hand therapy.What Can Hand Therapists Do For Their Patients? Hand therapists can help bridge the gap from the medical management of a patient’s injury or condition to a successful recovery, allowing the patient to function normally in their daily lives.In addition to patient care, hand therapists often assist providers by performing clinical testing to identify dysfunction to assist or confirm a diagnosis.