Desert Hand and Physical Therapy Mentorship Program: Perspective of a Current Mentee
What is the DHPT mentorship program like for a new grad therapist?
As a new grad therapist, the DHPT mentorship program is SO helpful. Mentorship groups are formed by respective levels of experiences. The groups are formed by several factors including when we plan to take the CHT exam and current level of experience or knowledge. It is incredibly helpful to have weekly discussions with other therapists who are “in the same boat” as me. The weekly discussions are structured well to allow for discussion on relevant topics that are assigned to mentees, though also open for discussion on just about anything related to the field of hand therapy once complete! The groups are also led by a current CHT that is often different from your one-on-one mentor in the clinic, which is another important factor. You get many different experiences and perspectives that way.
What are some tips and tricks you would recommend for success in the program?
To be successful in the program, I strongly recommend fostering a healthy relationship with your mentor that consists of great communication skills. Every therapist is on a different, but similar journey, unique to them. It is so important to communicate with your mentor(s) on topics that you feel comfortable, uncomfortable and everything in between! You also need to be willing to do some work outside of work to improve. You are expected to stay current in the field with research but also provide a good background with questions presented to your mentor. The program is designed for you to seek out information after you have discovered some information yourself.
What are a few things you find to be most helpful that are provided in the program?
A few things provided in the program that I find to be the most helpful are the endless support from a variety of mentors, weekly discussions on calls and in person, and autonomy with topics to present on during the weekly discussions. We often review a case study that I find helpful to apply when I am learning.
No matter the time of the workday or even after work, the CHT mentors in the program are always willing to help answer any questions and teach on relevant topics. The weekly discussions are really helpful with learning about more complex conditions not seen every day in the clinic. The mentors allow autonomy with how to guide assigned discussions. The mentors are also very realistic with what will likely be on the CHT exam to allow for adequate preparation.
Why did you want to pursue becoming a CHT? What drives you to achieve the milestone?
Since I was introduced to the field of OT, I have always been interested in becoming a CHT. The upper extremity is beautifully complex and can easily be taken for granted. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the progress of patients as they regain functional independence with tasks they never thought would become challenging. The knowledge that the mentors carry as CHT’s is extremely inspiring and drives me to continue to work hard on my journey to becoming a CHT myself.
What is your long-term goal in your career?
In the long term, I hope to be become a professor and teach aspiring OT students about the field of hand therapy and all of the excitement it can bring!
Desert Hand and Physical Therapy has successfully helped aspiring hand therapists achieve their dream of becoming a CHT, or Certified Hand Therapist, for the last 26 years. If you are interested in the mentorship program or need to schedule a new patient appointment, please click HERE to inquire.
Check out more about Jake in his bio HERE!