You have to hand it to these Hendrick occupational therapists

Posted on 05/11/2016

ASHT members Michelle Saksa and Donna Walls share their passion for hand therapy with an aspiring CHT at the Hendrick Medical Center in Texas.

You have to hand it to these Hendrick occupational therapists
By Scott Kirk, Special to the Reporter-News
Posted: May 02, 2016
Photo from Abilene Reporter-News

People can sometimes take for granted things they do every day with their hands. Erin Bailey, Michelle Saksa, Donna Walls and Kristin Emerson never do.

Bailey, Saksa and Walls are occupational therapists who are certified hand therapists at Hendrick Medical Center and Emerson plans to be one as soon as she's able, which will be in February of 2021. The reason it will take so long for Emerson to join the ranks of the other three OTs is because the process is pretty arduous — five years as a certified OT with 4,000 hours in training in dealing with the upper extremities (shoulders, arms and hands) along with passing a test, which Bailey said is no piece of cake.

"It's a hard test," she said.

However, Emerson said it's worth the wait.

"As I was going through school, I fell in love with the upper extremities," she said. "The hand is a beautiful thing … hands are really how you engage life."

Saksa and Bailey said their work is a constantly moving target, primarily because surgery techniques keep evolving, constantly raising the bar of what people who have those procedures are able to achieve through rehab.

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