Mary Kasch Hand Therapy Certification Scholarship: Gaining the confidence to succeed

Posted by Julie To, OTR/L, CHT on 02/08/2015

I still remember my first day of my fieldwork at an outpatient upper extremity rehab clinic in San Diego. I was so intimated by everything I did not know about. Even though I did very well in my classes back in OT school, it was a whole different ball game with real patients. Gradually, I realized the key to become an effective hand therapist was critical thinking based on knowledge I learned in school. which is the key to success in becoming a CHT. My mentors had been encouraging me to take the CHT exam for the past few years, but I just didn’t have the confidence for it.
In early 2014, I received an email about the Mary Kasch Hand Therapy Certification Scholarship, encouraging potential CHT candidates to apply. I figured if I won the scholarship, it would give me an extra motivation psychologically and financially to take the exam. So I revised my résumé and submitted the application. Around May 2014 the Hand Therapy Tri-Alliance sent out the official notification informing me that I was the 2014 scholarship recipient. Winning this scholarship definitely gave me an extra confidence boost to sit for the exam.
It was such an honor to meet all the pioneers and leaders in hand therapy during the 2014 ASHT Annual Meeting in Boston, held in conjunction with ASSH. The conference increased my awareness about the current issues in hand therapy outside the clinic. Bringing back the knowledge I learned at the conference and applying it in the clinic made me a better therapist in all aspects. Shortly after the ASHT conference, I decided to take the leap of faith and sit for the November 2014 exam. The ASHT Hand Therapy Review Course is a must for all CHT exam candidates as it helps identify the areas to focus while studying. After five long weeks of waiting, I received my exam result and I can now proudly sign my name with CHT behind it.
I would like to thank everybody who assisted me throughout my journey, including – but not limited to – all my mentors, best friend, friends at work and most importantly the Hand Therapy Tri-Alliance for selecting me as the scholarship recipient. Being a newly certified CHT is just the beginning. It is my stepping stone to achieve my ultimate goal – like my mentors did for me, one day providing my mentorship to junior therapists who are passionate in hand therapy, and contributing in the professional development of hand therapy.
The Mary Kasch Hand Therapy Certification Scholarship provides opportunities for professional development by providing financial support to an OT/PT interested in pursuing certification in hand therapy. For more information or to apply, please visit our Mary Kasch Hand Therapy Certification Scholarship page. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2015.