Meet OT Wendy MacNeill: What Makes Hand Therapy at ARC Physical Therapy+ Unique?

Wendy MacNeill is a Certified Hand Therapist in our Kansas City, Kansas location, just north of The Legends. She has been an Occupational Therapist for 20 years, and a Certified Hand Therapist for ten.

Meet OT Wendy MacNeill

Meet OT Certified Hand Therapist Wendy MacNeill in our KCK clinic who shares her interesting background and what makes #ARCPTplus different from other OT providers. #OTMonth

Posted by ARC Physical Therapy+ on Friday, April 13, 2018

Hand therapy was always a special interest for Wendy. “I tend to be detail-oriented, and I was fascinated with all the muscles and tendons. Hand Therapists tend to be very particular people for that reason, because you have to know a lot of detail and how things work together, so that was my interest to start out with. After five years, I sat for my exam and became officially certified.”

Her route to becoming a Certified Hand Therapist is a bit unique. Her undergrad degree is in business and marketing. After working in advertising for a little while, she felt bored, only working on a piece of a project without being able to see the end product. Around that time, her mom had bilateral rotator cuff surgery. She started getting really interested in her therapy sessions and decided to go back to school to get her Master’s degree at Rockhurst College.

Wendy is a primary upper extremity therapist which means she treats anything from the shoulder all the way down to the hand.

“I have some different interest areas, because of my background. When we do our OT program, we have two different three-month clinicals. One of my rotations was down in Wichita, Kansas. During that time, there was a grain elevator explosion, so part of my training extended to the burn unit, I have a special interest in wound care and burns, but I see everything from post-op shoulders, repetitive use injuries, like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow, all the way to amputations and trauma.”

She explains that getting a degree in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are very similar.

“At Rockhurst, we spent our first two years together. Occupational Therapists tend to focus on the upper quadrant, the shoulder to hand, and take splinting courses, to be able to provide patients with custom splints for recovery or protection. Physical therapists tend to focus on the bigger joints, such as the hip, the spine, and the lower extremities.”

Hand therapy at ARC Physical Therapy+ is unique because we aren’t just in a hospital setting or retirement home where you only see one type of client. We have a continuation of services.

For example, we have an onsite team that can go with a patient to their place of work to test them in the things they need to be able to do. Recently Wendy worked with a cement truck driver after shoulder surgery. Through rehab, she was able to get back his range of motion and strength. However, because of his size, they weren’t able to safely test him for ladder climbing.

“I didn’t realize that cement truck drivers need to be able to climb to the top of their truck every day, to check the ratio of sand to water. Our on-site team was able to go with him to his workplace and test him on his truck ladder, allowing me to give the doctor the seal of approval that he could safely return to work.”

The team at our Kansas City, Kansas location is dedicated to helping people optimize their function. If you are in need of any upper extremity work, contact Wendy at (913) 378-0778.

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