On the Road to Certification: Finding the Resources Within ASHT
As Evelyn Mackin, LPT, explained in the first Nathalie Barr Lecture in 1986, “Listening, explaining and touching the patient truly represents the art of hand therapy.” This interaction with the patient is what motivated Eugene Boeglin, DPT, OCS to become involved in hand therapy.
“The patients are motivated to get better,” said Dr. Boeglin. “The hand, elbow and shoulder parts of a person’s body are interesting areas to study because they are intricate. The complexity of the injuries requires a specific approachfor each patient.”
He knew to treat patients effectively he had to increase his knowledge in hand therapy. Aiming to become a certified hand therapist (CHT), Dr. Boeglin joined ASHT.
“The member benefits far outweigh the dues,” said Dr. Boeglin. “Every year I am impressed by the amount of benefits provided and they keep evolving and improving.”
ASHT member benefits include everything from discounted courses and exam reviews to publications and discussions on current issues. Dr. Boeglin takes advantage of the multiple online resources ASHT provides. The resources include guidelines to G codes, clinical resources in the various publications (like the Journal of Hand Therapy and the ASHT Times) and the Hand Therapy Review Course, which offers a structured study approach to upper extremity rehabilitation that may help prepare for the CHT exam.
“The programming at the meetings is also helpful because not only do they have hand therapy programming, but they have people from the Hand Therapy Certification Commission come in and give talks about how to become a certified hand therapist,” said Dr. Boeglin.
Of all the benefits, Dr. Boeglin values the ability to volunteer as one of his favorite. He serves as a moderator for ASHT’s Journal Club chats. The sessions circle around discussions of a specific article in the Journal of Hand Therapy, particularly focusing on the research behind it.
“We pick apart the research and teach people to break it down as far as the quality of the research and whether it should be used clinically or not,” said Dr. Boeglin. “We teach them to be discerning leaders of research.”
The session allows for members around the country — even some international — to connect and discuss the validity of a submitted article.
“Once, one of the authors of the article we were discussing, who was from Italy, came online and acted as a resource for any questions we had,” said Dr. Boeglin. “The sessions are a tremendous learning experience.”
With the wealth of knowledge ASHT provides, Dr. Boeglin is preparing to take the certification exam in May.
"Becoming a member of ASHT before becoming certified has been very beneficial because it has given me a sense of community and the feeling that I am not alone in my preparation,” said Dr. Boeglin. “ASHT provides multiple resources to enable a hand therapist to become a CHT. It also helps me stay current on literature in my profession. It is a worthwhile investment.”
To learn more about joining ASHT, please visit our Member Benefits page, or contact ASHT Member Services as 856-380-6856 or ASHT@asht.org.