By Shirish Godbole OTR/CHT
Able Hands Rehabilitation P.C.
The hand is probably the third most important part of human body after the heart that drives us and the brain that guides us. Certified Hand Therapy involves caring for wounded and disabled hands in a very specialized and methodical way. The goal is to make hands better in function, as well as in appearance.
A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) can be an occupational therapist or a physical therapist who is licensed and a practicing therapist in the United States for more than five years with extensive hands-on experience of at least 4,000 hours in treating hand injuries and impairments.
When all the stringent pre-conditions are met, the therapist then takes a difficult board examination conducted by Hand Therapy Certification Commission. Upon passing the test, the community has a new Certified Hand Therapist. He or she can then provide specialized hand therapy services to all patients with hand trauma or surgery and call themselves CHTs.
CHTs are always trusted and preferred by all specialist hand surgeons (plastic or orthopedic) to take care of their post-surgical and post trauma hand patients. This trust develops due to CHTs’ ability to give them excellent results and making their patients happy for regaining as much hand functions as possible.
We as human beings, interact with our environment through our hands and make things happen in our professional and personal life. Hands perform millions of functions for us every day without us even thinking about it – exactly the reason why hands are so intricate and complicated. Compromise of hand function due to injury or impairment can reduce our interaction with the world significantly affecting our psycho-social life.
CHTs know how to take care of wounded and disabled hands due to possession of extensive knowledge and experience in treating hand injuries-impairments. They are very good in timely and correct interventions of many different ways, which is critical in hand rehabilitation. They know many different treatment protocols for specific conditions such as forearm-wrist and finger fractures, tendon injuries which are very common, nerve injuries or crush injuries which usually include all of the above and know the anatomy and physiology of healing hands. They are very well aware of the psycho-social effects of hand injuries and are very good in establishing a rapport with the patient.
That bond of trust they develop with the patient and family is the most important part in successful hand rehabilitation. They know all the diagnoses, conditions and the clinical presentation.
CHTs also have the unique ability to fabricate multiple creative, static and dynamic splints/orthoses for wrist-fingers and thumb, as needed to regain and retain range of motion and hand functions.
They know all the diagnoses, conditions and the clinical presentations. They will either make their own educated decision to treat the problem in a certain way or they will communicate with the referring specialist hand surgeon and discuss about the course of intervention, if needed. The close communication and interaction between the therapist and the hand surgeon is essential to formulate and execute a successful treatment plan for the patients.
Loss of hand functions is a devastating blow to any human being and need to be taken seriously. Certified hand therapists will help you to regain your hand functions, making you happy and being able to interact successfully with your environment again.
Able Hands Rehabilitation, P.C. has three locations, Freehold, Edison and Old Bridge. For information, visit www.ablehandsrehab.com or call 732-727-7333.