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Drexel Hand Therapy Program Prepares Students to See Complex and Post-Op Patients

April 12, 2013

Hand_TherapyThe Drexel Certificate in Hand Therapy and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation Program is unique in both quality and format, providing busy practitioners with a blend of online, didactic and laboratory experiential components that allows them to pursue a higher degree while working, maintaining family life, and taking care of other responsibilities. “The combination of online and on-site makes for a very reasonable program for students to do while they’re working full-time,” explained David Ebaugh, PhD, a professor in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. Ebaugh teaches the anatomy portion of the certificate program. Current student Melissa Sloop of Indianapolis, Indiana said, “Drexel’s program worked out perfectly for me because I was able to work full time while I’m still taking classes.”

In addition to being practical for working professionals, the program’s on-site component takes place on Drexel University’s campus in Philadelphia, which “is a kind of Mecca for hand therapy. We have some of the best clinicians and professors in the area that are contributing to the program, headed up by Jane Fedorczyk,” said Terri Skirven, who is the Director of both the Hand Rehabilitation Foundation and the Philadelphia Hand Center. Jane Fedorczyk, PhD, the Director of the Certificate in Hand Therapy and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation Program at Drexel, is joined by faculty members Sheri Feldscher and Mark Walsh, both experts in the field who have decades of experience practicing hand therapy. “The hand therapy program has been designed and is taught by what I consider world-class hand therapists,” added Gloria Donnelly, PhD, Dean of the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions.

The low residency format taught by world-renowned experts has proven to be a successful model. “The program prepares physical therapists or occupational therapists to be able to sit for the licensure exam. Students who go through our program and then take that have a superior pass rate compared to practitioners who don’t do that. For those clinicians looking to ramp up their skills and make sure they’re prepared for that exam, this program is great for that,” Ebaugh continued. “It gives them a very solid foundation in the anatomy of the different regions that they will encounter with the patients that they’re working with, the latest clinical treatments and interventions that are based on evidence, and it brings them up to the current literature.” The certificate program also helps students develop and perfect splint-making techniques during the on-site residencies.

Therapists who want to see patients post-operatively or with complex hand injuries need to attend this program so that they can pass the licensure exam and have the evidence-based current practice knowledge, both of which will allow them to provide the highest quality treatments and interventions. “If you don’t have that degree and that level of experience, you’re really not going to be seeing that population,” Ebaugh concluded.