This year the American Society of Hand Therapists’ Annual Meeting was held in Washington, DC and I was fortunate to be able to attend. As always, the meeting was excellent and packed with valuable information, good people, and individuals who care about the profession of hand therapy. These details alone are very motivating to a hand therapist, but in reflection, there are a few more things that are priceless about this live conference.
- Educational opportunity (variety of topics and clinical pearls)- There is a general outline to the agenda for the ASHT conference, but there are many sections within the program where the attendees have the opportunity to choose the course they would like to attend. There are options at different skill levels and many aspects of hand therapy treatment are discussed. This year, I applied a functional fracture brace to my colleague, watched a live cadaver dissection completed by a surgeon performing procedures via audience request, and attended a comprehensive review on the ulnocarpal joint. As always, I gained a few clinical pearls to bring back to the clinic with me.
- Vendors - Again this year, I found it valuable to talk to different companies about treatment options for my hand therapy patients. While I am very familiar with the products available from 3 Point Products, there is definitely something to be said about being able to actually try on and “feel” the product. I tried on the 3pp Carpal Lift and was impressed by the amount of support and boost to the ulnar side of my wrist. I was also pleased with the comfort and ease involved in using the 3pp Step Down Splint and feel that it will be a great stretch for someone with stiffness in the IP joints. In addition, the 3pp Design Line Thumb Splint was easily adjustable for a comfortable fit. Having this opportunity reminded me of the value these products can have for some of my patients.
- Scientific sessions- Another one of my favorite parts of the ASHT meeting was the scientific sessions. This offers the opportunity to get a quick, focused snapshot of hand therapy related research currently being conducted, with discussion of how this research affects hand therapy practice. I find it stimulating for new ideas and best evidence-based practice in the clinic.
The ASHT annual meeting is energizing and full of great people, in a great atmosphere with lots of educational opportunities! We hope to see you all next year at the ASHT annual meeting in Anaheim, California October 12-15, 2017