I get this question a lot.
I want to become a Certified Hand Therapist. What do I need to do? How do I become a certified hand therapist?
Really, it’s not easy to become a CHT but totally possible! I want to help you create a roadmap because, with a plan, there will be no overwhelm.
So, how do you become a certified hand therapist? Usually, to become a certified hand therapist, the CHT connotation comes from htcc.org, the hand therapy commission that accredits you.
To become a certified hand therapist, you have to have:
- 4,000 hours in hand therapy, upper extremity type of management hours
- You have to have years of experience, a minimum of three years
Then after that, you can sit for the exam. Now, the exam is a pass or fail. There is no “I almost passed”. There’s not an A, B, C, and D.
It’s pass or fail. You pass, you become a certified hand therapist. If you fail, you are an occupational therapist or a physical therapist that happens to do hand therapy.
So, many people want to become a CHT, wish to study and sit for the exam. So, “how to become a certified hand therapist” jumps right to – I want to sit for the exam. Now, the problem with that is that’s where it gets overwhelming, right?
It’s like, “Oh, my God, what do I need to do? How do I even get there?” and some people don’t have the hours, don’t have the years.
Well, let me help you create a roadmap in terms of how you can do it and have a little bit less of an overwhelm with it, right? Because, at the end of the day, you need some hours, you need some years, and then you can sit and study for the exam.
So, if you are without the hours, grab my free guide How to Get a Job in Hand Therapy because first, you need to get your hours. And usually, I say you get your hours by working with anyone who has hands and arms. So, that’s how you get your hours. And no, not everyone is a flexor tendon. No, not everyone is a stiff PIP contracture.
We have an opportunity as Occupational Therapists and as Physical Therapists to decide that we want to specialize in hand and upper extremity management.
And when you decide that, yes, that’s what I want to do, that’s where I feel most creative, where I feel most passionate, then you start to get your hours.
But first, you have to get a job. Now, the job might be in skilled nursing, acute care, pediatrics, or hand therapy. Now, the choice is to get a position in hand therapy. There are multiple ways to get hours, open your mind, and expand, so it doesn’t just have to be an outpatient setting. It doesn’t just have to be inside of a doctor’s office. It doesn’t have to be, like, only working with people with just fractures and lacerations. Most people have two hands and two arms. And so, I want you to expand your mind about how you can get those hours and just get started.
How to get a great job is to have lots of other jobs that show that you can get that great job, right? So, that’s one thing. And then you have to have a minimum of three years before you can even sit for that exam.
So, if you don’t have the years, then why are you studying for the CHT, right? That’s going to make you feel really overwhelmed. So, if I could eliminate that for you, I have reduced your overwhelm, and it really comes back to, like, where do you get started?
First, you get the job. And sometimes how you get the job is you’ve got to be able to do your job.
It comes down to learning.
So, many times we think, oh, just because we got out of school somehow having our occupational therapy license and having our physical therapy licenses somehow, we just automatically know how to do the job because we earned this degree. But most of the time, we earn that degree to have the right to do that job. Now, we have to actually do it. So, it’s really important to put yourself into places and positions where you continue to grow and learn.
That’s why I’ve developed the free guides to give you a glimpse into what hand therapy can be for you, and you get a peek inside my clinic, how I run my clinic, how I train my team, and how I run my mentorship programs.
So, as an occupational therapist or a physical therapist, you evaluate a person. You say, “What’s your problem? I can help you solve that problem. If you are in pain, I can help you reduce that pain.”
If you can’t move, I can help you move better. If you can’t do certain things in your life, like work, do your hair, put your makeup on, take care of your kids. I can help you figure out where those problems are, and I can help you get to your goals by taking little steps. That’s what we do as occupational therapists and physical therapists for others. So when we can do our job, we can get more jobs and better jobs and the jobs that we want that will give us the hours that we want, the years that we want, and then be able to essentially sit for the exam and become a Certified Hand Therapist.
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start?
I can help you increase your confidence and help you go into that exam a lot more prepared with critical thinking techniques and skills.
Make sure to Grab The CHT Exam Prep Checklist Today, and we’ll send you the step-by-step details about how to prepare for the CHT exam and become THE expert in your area.