Hand Therapy Residency Program

The mission of the Occupational - Hand Therapy Residency is to provide excellence in education one clinician at a time. Through both experiential and didactic learning this program will develop master clinicians who possess self-reflective, innovative clinical reasoning skills.


The OrthoCarolina Occupational/Hand Therapy 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 residency combines ongoing clinical mentoring with a theoretical basis for advanced practice and scientific inquiry. Residents accepted into the program will be full-time employees of OrthoCarolina, salaried with benefits.


The Occupational/Hand Therapy Residency 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 resident to sit for the Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) examination of the Hand Therapy Certification Commission and/or prepare the resident to submit an application for Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation through AOTA’s Board Certification Program.  The hand therapy resident 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 resident 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 resident 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, residency, 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

Hand Therapy Residency Faculty

  • Stacy Rumfelt OTR/L, OTD, CHT, CLT - Stacy.Rumfelt@orthocarolina.com 

             Director of Hand Therapy Residency Program

             870 Summit Crossing

             Gastonia, NC  28054

             (704) 671-1860

  • Becky Lisy, OTR/L, CHT
  • Christine Benet, OTR/L, CHT
  • Susan Odum Ph.D

Frequently Asked Questions


  • All applicants must have a current license to practice occupational therapy in North 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 residency 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. 


Application Deadline:  September 1
Residency Start Date:  First week of January