Novice Hand Therapist Resources

Are you a newer therapist who wants to practice in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation? ASHT is pleased to offer a number of resources as your begin your career in the specialty.

How To Begin A Career in Hand and Upper Extremity Therapy Flyer

The UE Institute is an online study tool developed to provide structure and support for new hand therapists and to help mentoring pairs organize format and content. This program is free to ASHT members. The program is targeted to therapists with 0-3 years of experience, as well as change-of-career therapists.

The program originally included one online lesson per month (with rotating instructors) from September 2018 to May 2019. Lessons were recorded and are available at any time on the website. 

The UE Institute e-Community is available for novice hand therapists to ask questions related to each online recorded session as well as to seek general information and communication exchanges to advance their professional career and/or their preparation for the CHT Exam. 

The ASHT webinar series has been growing in popularity as it allows you to learn from the comfort of your own home. The webinars are typically one hour in length and presented by a variety of presenters from all over the country and sometimes internationally. We offer a wide range of topics presented by both therapists and physicians who are highly knowledgeable in their specialty area. Webinars are recorded and available to be purchased in the library and viewed at your convenience if you are unable to attend a live session. Visit the ASHT webinar library for further information and a complete list of available recordings.

Some recommended webinars for the novice hand therapist are:


ASHT's Mentoring Program is a free, volunteer-based program designed to virtually partner a therapist new to hand therapy with a seasoned or more experienced hand therapist. The goal of the program is to assist the novice therapist in furthering his/her hand and upper extremity therapy knowledge base.

ASHT On Tour

Foundations Traveling Course

"Foundations" is an evidence-informed course for the upper extremity practitioner to survey topics relevant to proficiency in hand therapy. Fundamentals and algorithms for evaluation and intervention will be reviewed. The course begins with a hands-on anatomy lab. Participants will identify structures on themselves, a partner and the instructor. An in-depth review includes the extensor and flexor tendons, lacerations, OA, neuropathies, tendinopathies, ligament injuries, wrist injuries, fractures, dislocation and pain management. The participants will gain insight in evaluating evidence-informed literature.

Want to learn more about fabricating custom-designed orthosis from other clinicians? Do you want to have ample “hands-on” time to be able to practice these orthoses? Our Hands-on Orthotics workshop is just for you. We have flexible course designs with one- and two-day formats that can be hosted at your facility and be tailored to your experience level. Look for current course offerings or request one at your facility.

How-To Video Series

This series of three 10-minute videos on CMC arthroplasty will take you through the initial evaluation process and the fabrication of a volar forearm-based CMC thumb spica orthosis. The final video will show the reassessment process and the advancement of the post-operative rehab program.

Clinical Assessment Recommendations, 3rd ed.

The third edition of the Clinical Assessment Recommendations (CAR) book covers materials unlikely to require frequent updating, such as assessment of edema, grip, pinch, pain, range of motion and sensibility. CAR also includes digital chapters that will cover the body of evidence on outcome measures and diagnosis-specific assessments, such as those related to the osteoarthritic hand, sympathetic function, tendon repairs and the burned hand.

Hand Therapy Fellowships

Some therapists choose to participate in a hand and upper extremity therapy fellowship or a post-professional certificate in order to further their training. ASHT now offers a reduced-rate membership fee for those participating in a full-time, residential fellowship program that pays with a stipend or a decreased salary. 

Journal of Hand Therapy

The Journal of Hand Therapy is designed for hand therapists, occupational and physical therapists, and other hand specialists involved in the rehabilitation of disabling hand problems. The journal functions as a source of education and information by publishing scientific and clinical articles. Regular features include original reports, clinical reviews, case studies, editorials and book reviews. The Journal of Hand Therapy is the official journal ASHT. You can follow the Journal of Hand Therapy on Twitter for updates.