WHY CHOOSE ARMWORKS HAND THERAPY?
Armworks partners with our patients to help them thrive: giving them the tools for a quick recovery and a complete return to functional activities at work and home. We offer a comprehensive treatment program that addresses elbow, wrist and hand diagnoses’ by blending manual therapy, modalities and splinting to achieve our excellent outcomes.
WHAT IS A CERTIFIED HAND THERAPIST (CHT), AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THAN AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST (OT)?
The CHT credential is the highest professional certificate that can be given to a therapist who specializes in upper extremity treatment and rehabilitation. Occupational Therapists who wish to gain the CHT credential are required to have a minimum of five years of clinical experience and 4,000 hours of direct practice in hand therapy. Once these requirements are met, they must complete a comprehensive exam which tests their superior clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation. Each certified hand therapist must recertify every five years to show they have maintained and expanded their advanced knowledge and skills.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AS A PATIENT?
Your first appointment will consist of a physical evaluation, a review of your medical history, and a discussion of your treatment goals. If your symptoms allow, the therapist will check your swelling, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination and posture. Lastly, they will evaluate your performance during various body mechanic exercises and functional activities. With this information gathered, a treatment plan will be initiated and managed closely during the following visits. Initially, treatment follows a structured plan: reduce pain and swelling, restore or improve flexibility, then increase strength and endurance. Once these goals are accomplished, the therapist will begin adding activities and exercises that mimic everyday tasks or chores. Progress will be examined throughout treatment dates to ensure improvements are being made. Once the treatment goals are met and the referring physician is confident in you results, the patient will be given proper education for further success and discharged from physical therapy.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?
If you are in need of physical therapy, simply call or walk into one of our four local clinics to schedule an evaluation. After your initial evaluation, your physical therapist and referring physician will agree on a frequency and duration for treatment, and our front desk staff will schedule you to meet those requirements. We do everything we can to accommodate your requests for appointment days and times. Please inform us of any scheduling restrictions, and we will do our best to work around them.
WILL THE HAND THERAPIST COMMUNICATE WITH MY HEALTH CARE PROVIDER?
There will be constant contact between your certified hand therapist and health care provider. Every couple weeks, your therapist will send a progress note to your doctor, updating him/her with your physical status. Discussions will take place as to the direction of your therapy to ensure you are receiving the best treatment possible.
HOW LONG WILL MY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY APPOINTMENTS LAST?
Appointments typically last 45 minutes. Your therapist will do everything in their power to get you out on time, but please expect to be here a couple minutes past the scheduled end time.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY FIRST APPOINTMENT?
Please bring photo identification, your insurance card or claim number, a copy of the written referral from your doctor, and a list of any medications you are currently taking. Please arrive 15 minutes early to your first appointment in order to fill out the necessary paperwork, if you have not already done so at home by printing them off our website. Also, if you are currently wearing a brace or splint, please wear or bring it to your first appointment. Other than those small details, bring a smile, a good attitude, and a willingness to get better!
HOW MANY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY APPOINTMENTS WILL I HAVE?
After the initial evaluation, the certified hand therapist will contact the referring physician to discuss a treatment plan. The therapist will suggest a treatment duration and frequency, while considering insurance plans, which the doctor will either sign off on or adjust. Once an agreement has been made between the therapist and doctor, Armworks will contact the patient to schedule the recommended appointments. Initially, patients attend therapy about two times every week. As the patient advances through treatment and shows steady improvements, office visits will likely be fewer and further between, typically once every week or other week. During this time, patients will continue self- treatment at home using a prescribed individual â€œhome exercise program. Once the treatment goals have been met, the therapist and doctor will agree to discharge the patient from therapy.
WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR MY HAND THERAPY?
Most insurance agencies pay for a portion, if not all, of occupational therapy services redeemed. If you are unsure of your benefits, Armworks will gladly call and confirm this detail for you.
DO I NEED A DOCTOR’S REFERRAL OR PRESCRIPTION FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?
In most cases, no. Oregon law allows patients to receive direct access to occupational therapy without a physician referral. Most health insurance agencies have changed policies to honor this law, but not all. If you plan on using insurance during your therapy visits, and are unsure of your benefits, Armworks will gladly call and confirm this detail for you.
WHAT IS A PHYSICAL CAPACITY EVALUATION (PCE), AND WILL ARMWORKS PERFORM ONE FOR ME?
A PCE is a comprehensive evaluation that involves a review of your medical history, testing of flexibility and strength, and functional testing to determine what tasks, either at work or home, you should or should not be performing. The certified hand therapist’s at all Armworks location are qualified to perform PCE exams. We can evaluate all body segments, including back, shoulder, knee, ankle, elbow, wrist and hand conditions.