Thursday, February 3, 2011

Splinting 101

Hands are so important...and so complex.

A more complex hand splint than the one I had for my finger last year (it's been a year! Can you believe it? Wow. My finger is still doing quite well.)

Two of my classmates are practicing on each other. Here they're making the outline to use as a template.

Here my classmate is creating a template for my hand/forearm.

A template I created for myself for my hand.

Here I am creating the template myself for my hand/forearm...

The finished template.

We have a class on creating hand splints. As of now, I'm fairly certain I am not interested in anything having to do with hands, including splinting. Learning about forces and vectors is interesting though and the process is pretty fun.

In case you're unaware a splint is basically just a tool or device used to immobilize parts of the body to prevent further injury so that the surrounding tissues can heal. It's kind of like a cast. Remember when I lacerated my extensor tendon and I had that strange white thing on it? That was a splint for the finger. That should give you a general idea of what splints do. The splints we will create in class will be much more elaborate than the one I had but you get the idea.

Finally, a bit on Certified Hand Therapists. So, CHT's are occupational therapists (and to my knowledge they are also physical therapists) with 5 years of practice in hand therapy, including passing a national certification exam. CHT's focus on injuries of the hand (surprise!), the wrist, the elbow and the shoulder. They assess, plan interventions and evaluate outcomes of hand therapy services. CHT's have to meet very rigorous standards.

So, there you have it! Splinting 101!

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