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VHSF Intro to Hand Therapy Syllabus

Location: Online

Presenter: Mirella Deisher, OTD, MS, OTR/L, CHT

Target Audience: Occupational and Physical therapy Students, OTAs, PTAs, PTs, and OTs

Educational Level: Entry-level/Beginner 

Instructional Method: Online instruction

Fee: $150.00/month for four months 

Student Discount: $100.00/month for four months

*Content access is available for six months



The content of this course is preparatory and supportive for level II fieldwork students, COTAs and PTAs, and OT and PTs looking to broaden their skills for general physical disability settings.  The asynchronous curriculum begins with foundational knowledge that informs clinical decision-making and includes tutorials on introductory- level evaluative procedures, orthotic fabrication, and manual techniques.


The curriculum includes evaluation and intervention to common pathologies and disabilities seen in physical rehabilitation settings such as outpatient or hand therapy settings. The asynchronous curriculum is supplemented by a live weekly group session for questions and supplemental mentorship to support clinical or fieldwork success.


Weekly Sessions

Meets Thursdays 8:00-9:00 pm EST 


PREREQUISITES: Occupational and physical therapy students, PTAs, OTAs, PTs & OTs



Upon successful completion of this program, the student will: 


Demonstrate introductory-level knowledge of upper limb and hand anatomy and biomechanics, including related neuroanatomy & physiology, and the physiology of healing as evidenced in weekly quiz participation.


Demonstrate introductory-level knowledge in common upper limb and hand pathology, pathomechanics, and the resultant sequelae, including impairment and occupational dysfunction, as evidenced in weekly quizzes.


Demonstrate introductory-level knowledge in an occupation-based examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and management of patients with common upper extremity, hand impairment, and disability, as evidenced in weekly quiz participation.


Demonstrate introductory-level knowledge in using tests and measures for the upper quarter, including identifying red flags requiring referral to the appropriate professional, as evidenced in the weekly quiz participation.


Demonstrate introductory-level knowledge in the appropriate use of preparatory and occupation-based interventions for common upper extremity and hand conditions to improve patient outcomes, as evidenced in the weekly quiz participation.


Demonstrate introductory-level knowledge of medical management of common upper limb and hand conditions (i.e., medications, injection, surgical management...) and how that informs OT intervention, as evidenced in the weekly quiz participation.


Demonstrate introductory-level knowledge in common interventions for upper limb and hand therapy conditions, such as manual techniques, orthotic fabrication, modalities, therapeutic exercise, and occupation-based activity, as evidenced by weekly quiz participation.


Weekly Lecture Schedule

Foundational content


1.1 Basic Anatomy of Wrist and Hand


1.2 Clinical Assessment Hand & Wrist


1.3 Basic Anatomy of Elbow, PRUJ, Forearm & Clinical Exam


1.4 Shoulder Anatomy, Biomechanics & Clinical Exam


1.5 Soft Tissue Healing 


1.6 Bone Healing


Pathology-based content


1.7 Compression Neuropathies of the Elbow & Wrist


1.8 Wrist Hand Tendinopathies


1.9 Elbow Tendinopathy


1.10 Thumb CMC OA


1.11 Distal Radius Fractures


1.12 Hand Fractures


1.13 Therapy Considerations for Flexor & Extensor Tendon Injuries


1.14 Peripheral Nerve Injuries & Repairs


1.15 Treating the Nuero Upper Limb


1.16 Treating the Pediatric Upper Limb & Hand

** Video Library accessible throughout enrollment on evaluative techniques, manual techniques, therapeutic exercise, & orthotic fabrication 


• This program is delivered virtually using PowerPoint presentations and audio. Closed captioning is available if you choose to enable it. If you need special accommodations to improve accessibility of contact, please email Mirella Deisher at:



The program can be discontinued at any time by canceling your monthly subscription through your enrollment & learning platform account.


You will not be reimbursed for any attended sessions, or content you have had access to, such as that provided with discounted bundles. 



VHSF is an AOTA Approved Provider; the Intro to Hand Therapy curriculum has been submitted for approval to AOTA as a PD activity of 24 contact hours delivered as a distance learning, independent, interactive, or hybrid.

In order to be awarded the certificate of completion, all sessions must be attended, independent or interactive, and all quizzes must be completed.

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