dcsimg

Career Story: Therapist And Director Of An Outpatient Hand Therapy Clinic

Therapist And Director Of An Outpatient Hand Therapy Clinic

Job Title: Occupational Therapist

Type of Company: I'm the director of a private hand and upper extremity outpatient rehabilitation facility.

Education: BS, Occupational Therapy, University of New Hampshire

Previous Experience: I worked in private practice in Schenectady, NY, then moved to Cape Cod where I worked at Falmouth Hospital for 6 years before opening my own practice.

Job Tasks: I am the director of an outpatient hand therapy facility in Massachusetts. We are occupational therapists who specialize in the rehabilitation of the entire upper extremity from the shoulder to the hand. I not only manage the clinic but also treat 10-12 patients a day. I have a staff of 4 people and a per diem therapist. I also have an office manager, a receptionist and 2 CHT's (certified hand therapists). The per diem therapist comes in as needed when our caseload picks up.

The types of diagnoses we see are things like rotator cuff tears, shoulder replacements, fractures, nerve injuries, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendon lacerations, arthritis and generalized weakness. We generally heat the patients with paraffin or hot packs, perform massage, range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises and give them functional activities to do. The job is very rewarding as you are helping people heal and resume their normal lives.

Another aspect of the job is to make orthotics (splints) to support joints or to help increase range of motion.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is interacting all day with people who want to get better and are invested in their rehab. It's exciting to help people and converse with the patients while you're working.

The worst part of the job is the documentation and paperwork that is necessary for the insurance companies in order to be reimbursed. And as insurance companies reimburse less and less, therapists find themselves seeing more and more patients in a day to make up for this.

Job Tips: Prior to going to college for this career, find as many opportunities as you can to observe therapists in the workplace to see if this is the right career for you. It takes a special kind of person to help people all day long. Also get some experience before college volunteering as an aide in a hospital or outpatient clinic so that the college curriculum isn't so foreign to you. Take a course in anatomy in high school so you have a jump on the terminology when you get to the college anatomy courses.

Additional Thoughts: We are not physical therapists. People get OTs confused with PTs. OTs work mainly on the upper extremity and PTs tend to concentrate on the lower extremities. We tend to be very functionally oriented. We also get training in splint fabrication in college which appeals to the creative side in us.

To be an OT you have to enjoy working all day long helping people!!!

Popular Schools offering Occupational Therapist Assisting Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology

  • Programs: M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Degrees: Master

Does the Human Mind Fascinate You? Study Psychology at Grand Canyon University - Bachelor's and Master's Degrees Available!

  • Programs: M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Prevention, M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with Emphasis in Grief and Bereavement, M.S. in Mental Health and Wellness with an Emphasis in Christian Ministry, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

  • Programs: Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Degrees: Certificate

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
  • Degrees: Master
National Holistic Institute
Emeryville, Petaluma, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Studio City

National Holistic Institute offers the finest massage therapy training programs in the nation. In as little as 8 months, get the skills to be a massage therapist & have a career you've always wanted.

  • Programs: Massage Therapy/Therapist
  • Degrees: Diploma

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

  • Programs: Occupational Therapy Aide, Physical Therapy Aide, Substance Abuse
  • Degrees: Diploma, Coursework

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Health Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Degrees: Doctorate

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

  • Programs: Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC), Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
  • Degrees: Master

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Argosy University
Alameda, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Counseling Psychology (EdD), Counseling Psychology (MA), Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Occupational Therapists, including:

Back to Top