hand therapy certification courses
AOTA fellowships


The OrthoCarolina Occupational/Hand Therapy fellowship is an 18 month, post-professional clinical and didactic education experience designed for occupational therapists who wish to significantly advance their preparation as a specialty provider of orthopedic upper extremity and hand rehabilitation services. This fellowship combines ongoing clinical mentoring with a theoretical basis for advanced practice and scientific inquiry. Fellows accepted into the program will be full-time employees of OrthoCarolina, salaried with benefits.


The Occupational/Hand Therapy fellowship program provides an 18-month long course of didactic and clinical education. This program provides the equivalent of 18 semester credit hours of instruction and clinical experience and is intended to prepare the eligible fellow to sit for the Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) examination of the Hand Therapy Certification Commission and/or prepare the fellow to submit an application for Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation through AOTA’s Board Certification Program. The hand therapy fellow would complete a minimum of 1500 hours of supervised clinical practice including laboratory and lecture study. In several modules completion of staged oral, written and practical examinations in an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) format administered by a board of faculty examiners may be required.


  • Create mentors who would teach and guide other therapists throughout their careers
  • Prepare therapists to sit for Specialist Examination or Board Certification in their area of expertise
  • Foster teamwork, leadership, and collaboration between therapist, physician, and patient
  • Expose the fellow to advanced research in order to produce a clinically relevant occupational/hand therapy capstone project
  • Provide advanced opportunities of clinical exposure in the subspecialty of the hand and upper extremity.
  • Development of clinicians who treat the whole patient in a caring, ethical manner exceeding patient expectations.


If the fellow seizes the opportunity he/she will:

  • If eligible, pass the Hand Therapy Certification Commission Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) examination and/or submit for Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation through the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
  • Develop the skills and knowledge to become educators in a variety of settings (i.e., clinical, fellowship, coursework, and/or laboratory instructors).
  • Contribute to the profession of occupational therapy through clinical practice, teaching, scholarship, leadership, and service.
  • Become professionally active at the clinical, local, state, national and international level.
  • Demonstrate traits of independent thinking including:
  • Developing an inquiring mind evidenced by asking “high-level” questions
  • Take the perspective of other residents/tutors considering alternative ideas during discussions
  • Demonstrate mental flexibility by modifying their ideas according to best evidence and argumentation
  • Demonstrating a skeptical orientation by adopting a posture of doubt about truth claims and arguments during tutorials and discussion groups
  • Effectively learning to argue by making conceptual claims backed with supporting theory and evidence.


  • Introduction to Research and Scientific Inquiry/Evidenced-Based Practice in Hand Therapy
  • Basic Clinical Evaluation
  • Advanced Management of the Shoulder
  • Advanced Management of the Elbow
  • Advanced Management of the Wrist
  • Advanced Management of the Hand
  • Concepts in Wound Care
  • Edema Management
  • Splinting Laboratory
  • Modalities Seminar
  • Cadaver Laboratory
  • Perspectives in Occupational/Hand Therapy
  • Clinical Seminar
  • Capstone Project

top 10 reasons for choosing OC OT/Hand Therapy Fellowship

  • Our program is designed to afford you a work-life balance. Comprehensive clinical and didactic experiences are spread out over 18 months versus the standard 12-month program.
  • YOU truly are part of our TEAM! During the 18-month program, you develop solid relationships with OT colleagues, MDs and PA’s, and clinical staff
  • You will be surrounded by world-renowned surgeons in the area of hand and upper extremity rehabilitation. Hundreds of research articles, book chapters, and lectures are produced by our referring physicians.
  • You will be mentored by faculty and staff with more than 25+ years of experience. Many of whom have also published articles, research, book chapters, and presented at national conferences.
  • OC’s specialty clinics are nationally known in the areas of the Amputee, Brachial Plexus, and Congenital Hand. OT plays an integral role in each of these monthly clinics.
  • Monthly cadaver lab observation
  • Contributing to bimonthly Journal Club.
  • Attendance in weekly Physician Conferences
  •  Attendance in Quarterly Hand Therapy Meetings.
  • 100% passing rate on the CHT exam post-fellowship.
  • BONUS: You rack up 1500+ hours toward your CHT eligibility requirement.


  • Stacy Rumfelt OTR/L, OTD, CHT, CLT
    • Coordinator of the Hand Therapy Fellowship Program
      • (704) 671-1860
      • 870 Summit Crossing, Gastonia, NC 28054

A Hand Therapy Fellow Success Story

OrthoCarolina Hand Therapy Fellow accepts 2019 Mary C. Kasch Scholarship

hand therapy certification courses
fellow of the american occupational therapy association



  • All applicants must have a current license to practice occupational therapy in North Carolina and South Carolina. This license must not be under suspension, revocation, probationary status or subject to disciplinary proceedings or inquiry.
  • All residents will be employed by OC during their 18-month fellowship program.
  • All applicants must be active members of AOTA in good standing as applicable.
  • All applicants must have current CPR certification.
  • Applicants must submit a completed application in a timely manner in order to be considered for the program.

If mailing, send applications to:


870 Summit Crossing Place

Gastonia, NC 28054

Attn: Stacy Rumfelt

Application Deadline: September 1
Fellowship Start Date: First week of January
Occupational Hand Therapy Fellowship Program