Boost Your PT Income by 20% through Hand Therapy Certification

hand therapy

Experienced physical therapists can boost their income by up to 20% by becoming a certified hand therapist (CHT). Hand therapy has traditionally been the primary domain of occupational therapists; however there is a strong demand for PT hand therapists amongst many in the medical community.

Cindy Johnson, PT, DPT, CHT, president of the hand rehabilitation section for the American Physical Therapy Association stated, "There is a shortage in general of hand therapists, but PT hand therapists are sought after. They are never wanting for a job."

CHTs treat more than the hand

Hand rehabilitation includes not just the hand but the wrist, elbow, and shoulder girdle. The practice merges physical and occupational therapy by combining PTs structural knowledge of the upper limb with OTs expertise with functional activities.

Hand therapists may treat patients for a number of reasons including:

  • Structural damage from severe burns
  • Nerve compression syndrome
  • Tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Distal radius fractures
  • Flexor tendon rehabilitation from surgery or injury

Advantages of having a CHT Designation

Current research presents a strong link between the health of the spine and the operation of the upper limb. Johnson states, “Research is coming out stating you can’t treat the hand without treating the spine. That is not part of an OT practice, but it is part of a PT practice." A study posted in the Journal of Manual Manipulative Therapy by Joshua Cleland, DPT OCS demonstrates that patients with tennis elbow have improved treatment results when therapy is directed toward the cervicthoracic spine in addition to the elbow.

Physical therapists with a CHT designation can increase their patient load:

  • By offering a higher level of skill
  • By treating multiple trauma patients with severe hand and upper limb injuries
  • Through increased referrals from hand surgeons who are increasingly opting for CHTs

Physical therapists with a CHT make up only 14% of the 5,510 hand therapists in the United States. Physical therapists choosing to pursue the hand therapy certification require five years of experience as a full-time PT. Before an applicant can write the half-day certification exam, they must complete and document at least 4,000 hours of direct hand therapy treatments.

Advance Your CHT Career with Travel Therapy Jobs

Physical and occupational therapists receive free continuing education classes and certifications through our travel therapy jobs program. American Traveler Allied specializes in career opportunities for Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists and other allied professionals. Find therapy jobs at facilities offering the latest technology and advancements in your field. We have jobs in Outpatient Centers, Rehab Centers, skilled nursing facilities, and top rehabilitation hospitals rated the best by U.S. News & World Report.

Getting started is easy taking just a few minutes. You can fill out an application online or contact us at 1-800-617-0608 to speak with an expert consultant.