Don’t Start Over Because You Failed The Hand Therapy Exam - Study Smarter, Not Harder - Hand Therapy Secrets

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Don’t Start Over Because You Failed The Hand Therapy Exam – Study Smarter, Not Harder

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If you are an OT who desperately wants to become a CHT AND has failed the CHT exam and can’t decide what to do….this blog is for you.  

I know that you want to see videos of how to make a splint or love reels that show various activities in a hand therapy clinic.  It’s easy to show videos of making splints and bending people’s fingers in hand therapy.  It’s easy to think that’s all there is to hand therapy.

In a world where we are conditioned to talk and see only the positive good stuff, we need to bring to light some of the not so good things that happen to us as OT’s. 

It’s sucks to fail the CHT exam because: 

  1. It never feels good to fail
  2. It squashes your hopes that you can just do it one time.
  3. It hurts the ego…you think you have skills and are a great therapist and it makes  you question yourself. 
  4. People mostly can’t help it and internalize the results – example I failed therefore I’m a failure or I’m bad or I’m stupid…
  5. You can’t help but feel that others are judging you on how you are as a therapist. 

First of all, you are none of those things.  But it does feel like crap.

You might feel like you studied, put in the hours, the time, sacrifice from doing other things, you may have spent money.

Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t as much as you think.  There’s no use in staying in a bad place and second guessing yourself. 

One of the 1st things I ask people when they fail is “are you going to try again?” 

Answers vary of course.  You never know how many times someone has failed before.  You don’t know all the circumstances.  

I always encourage people to take the exam again…as soon as possible.

Here’s why.

Think about your patient that is not getting the results that you hoped for.  Do you want them to just quit therapy?   Do you want to quit therapy on them?

Results happen the best when both people are committed to getting the results.  Your patients have to want to get better and put in the work.  You have to want to develop your skills both hands on and critical thinking skills to help them get the results they want.  Together you will make magic happen! 

If you just failed, chances are you have retained a lot of the information as well as the experience of taking the exam.  Try again.

You already know so much.  You are not starting from scratch. You never are even if it’s been years.  In order to take the exam you have to have the years, hours, and desire.  

You have it all.  You just need to study in a way that can give you a better chance at becoming the best CHT. 

Here are my tips when you try again:

  1. Make a decision on taking it again and sticking with it. It’s a hard yes or a hard no, but to teeter between the two and then make a hail mary in the last few weeks before the exam is a sure sign that you are self sabotaging. 
  2. Declutter your mess – I mean notes and resources in terms of books.
  3. Declutter your mind – I mean the mean things you are saying to yourself that you would never tell a friend.
  4. Analyze your score, your study routine, and your plan before the next exam date.

Now more than ever before, it’s important to distinguish yourself between other non-specialized OT’s.  When things were good…you might have thought that in healthcare, you can always get a job.  But the jobs that you can always get are NOT the ones that you want. 

The economy as a whole, have just endured over 2 years of lost revenue due to covid and now headed into inflation…along with a looming recession.  People who are fearful will hold onto their money and think staying where they are at, will be safe.  That is the most unsafe position to be in.

Those willing to use this time to invest in themselves to become the best will stand out.  The work is challenging.  You’ll need to spend the money to invest in your future so that you can stand above the  crowd.

When you become a CHT – and not just the letters…but when you become the CHT that knows how to guide your patients, make decisions about what can work for them, and help your patients make decisions to keep coming to you as the expert….you’ll make more money now and in the long run.

Whatever you invest in now…a couple of thousands to make 100x that over the longevity of your career. 

OT’s might be telling you that they didn’t get a raise when they become OT’s – but I want you to keep this in mind.  They might be setting those limitations for themselves, not you.  They didn’t make it possible for them.  Know that you can make more money, you can have more stability, and you can have more choices – if you want.  

My students inside my program tell me how they have gotten raises, changed jobs to get the raise, have received bonuses, and have a stronger foundation when going in to negotiate either before or after becoming CHT’s.

I myself was able to get a 5% raise initially – then turned that 5% into a 20% increase.  Becoming a CHT will open opportunities for you that you never thought was possible.

You can work in the setting that you want.  You can negotiate salaries, bonuses, and even go into business for yourself if you want.  The possibility of buying into an existing business is even a possibility if you don’t want to start alone from scratch.  

Be the CHT to become the CHT by being able to critically think through a problem and make decisions will help you become the best therapist in your area AND help you pass the Hand Therapy exam. 

It’s possible for you.

If you have the years, hours, and desire…apply for the Hand Exam Prep program.  Grab the details by clicking here.

If you are not yet ready to sit for the exam and want to develop your critical thinking skills,  hands on skills in hand therapy, and get to grow your career in hand therapy – grab the details of the Hand Therapy Mentorship program. 

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Hoang Tran

“I help Occupational Therapists develop their skills and grow their confidence in Hand Therapy. No matter where you are on your journey, build a happy and fulfilling career of your dreams. I’ll help you.”