At ARC Physical Therapy+, we are committed to being a leader in the hand therapy space. One way we demonstrate that commitment is through our Certified Hand Therapy Fellowship Program, now overseen by Kathy Bukaty, a Certified Hand Therapist with 29 years of hands-on CHT experience.
We’ve shared details about the origins of the program before (read more and watch our video here). Today, we take a deeper dive and talk to Kathy about the details of the program.
What is a Certified Hand Therapist?
A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is an occupational therapist who has advanced training in the evaluation and treatment of the upper extremity: the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. Read more about CHTs here.
What is the CHT Fellowship Program?
In the CHT Fellowship program, occupational therapists work towards their certification under the guidance of a Certified Hand Therapist in a mentor-mentee type relationship.
In her new role, Kathy will support the program mentors while ensuring each mentee meets the requirements of the program.
The three-year program includes:
- Monthly mentor-mentees meetings to discuss specific topics on anatomy, evaluation, treatment techniques, and difficult case studies
- Real world experience working with employers, physicians, and patients under the guidance of an experienced CHT
- Observing local surgeons in both their clinic practice and in the operating room, so fellows can see the surgery performed on patients they will treat
- Gaining an appreciation for the surgeon’s critical decision-making process and teaching therapists to become critical decision makers themselves
- Providing the 4,000 hours of direct practice in hand therapy needed to become a CHT
- Training the therapist to successfully pass the comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation to become a CHT at the end of the three-year program
Why is the Fellowship Program Important?
“Hand therapy is a specialty area which requires additional studying and experience to provide high quality care,” explains Kathy.
“I am proud to work for a company which values our professional education and is willing to commit the resources to ensure that our patients receive the excellent care they deserve. The associates recognize the benefit of having a mentor and they appreciate the assistance they receive in accomplishing their goal of becoming CHTs.”
Who has Graduated from the Program?
Our most recent graduate, Lucy, shares her thoughts on the program: “My favorite part about the fellowship program was the hands-on training and the amazing support I received – not just from my mentors, but from all of the wonderful CHTs at ARC Physical Therapy+. The support hasn’t ended since completing the fellowship program; I know I can reach out to any of my fellow CHTs and everyone is always happy to help! I also feel that the program truly helped in preparing me for the CHT exam – from the advice on how to study from coworkers, as well as the monthly meetings to discuss many of the topics that come up on the exam.”
Final Thoughts From Kathy
“I am so excited to be given the opportunity to be in this role,” shares Kathy. “I have always enjoyed sharing knowledge with students in the clinic, and this is a continuation of that. It is so rewarding to watch a therapist expand their knowledge and confidence. While working with the mentees I am discovering that I am relearning information, and that is rewarding too.”
Contact Us to Learn More
If you are interested in learning more about our Fellowship Program or our Certified Hand Therapy offerings, call us at 844-755-4272.