ASHT members discuss importance of CHT credential

Beth Olson
Posted by Norfolk Daily News on 07/21/2017

ASHT members Beth Olson, Wendi Eisenbraun and Christina Noecker share information about the hand therapy specialty and the importance of the CHT credential with the Norfolk Daily News.

Certified hand therapists prove vital in recovery process

July 18, 2017
By Erin Bell

Dr. Tristan Hartzell's clinic at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk sees a variety of unusual injuries each day.

Paramount in the recovery of the patients who visit the hand and upper extremity surgeon are the certified hand therapists (CHTs) who work in his office.

There are three occupational therapists who have received the certification — Beth Olson, Jami Doele and Wendi Eisenbraun — with a fourth, Christina Noecker, who will be taking the certification test this fall.

So what is a certified hand therapist?

To put it simply, it's an occupational or physical therapist who specializes in hand and upper extremity rehab.

In a typical day, the hand therapists in Hartzell's office are working with a new patient every 45 minutes, helping to return function after an injury.

One of their specialities — which is unique to their office — is custom splinting.

"Personally I think it just makes you a better professional," Eisenbraun said. "I mean it makes you more of an expert, more specialized in this field, more specialized than anyone in this town. So I think it really adds to your personal growth as a professional."

Olson, Doele and Eisenbraun are the only certified hand therapists in Norfolk as well as in Northeast Nebraska. There are 39 CHTs in the state.

Read more