1.  Course type

This course is an AHTA Core course.

2.  Overview

Advanced Open Trauma will build on existing knowledge of human anatomy, biomechanics and function as well as tissue injury and repair that is taught in the Fundamentals of Hand Therapy workshops. This 2.5-day course enables therapists to identify appropriate therapeutic strategies, splinting, protocols and guidelines depending on the patient's stage in recovery and complications from surgery.

3.  Prerequisites 

Completed Fundamentals of Hand Therapy Course OR
Completed a Masters or postgraduate degree in Hand Therapy (PT/OT) OR
Be an Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association OR
Have a minimum of 3 years post-graduate experience in a hand therapy setting

4.  Learning outcomes

Following this course, you will be able to identify the anatomical structures of the digits, hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder, and describe their specific functions, surgical interventions, healing rates and complications to healing following surgery. Examples may include ORIF, tendon repair, replants, peripheral nerve repair, tendon transfers, and skin grafts/flaps.

During the course, we look in-depth at conditions associated with hand and upper limb trauma. You will further develop clinical reasoning skills appropriate to complex clinical scenarios including but not limited to;

  • Fractures
  • Tendon Injuries
  • Ligament Injuries
  • Nerve Injuries
  • Skin Grafting and Free Flaps

The trauma course will include a component on the shoulder as this is a core competency requirement for the AHT accreditation.

This course is structured to allow participants to discuss all types of upper limb trauma with a group of other professionals.

At the completion of this course, therapists will:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the complex anatomy, biomechanics and pathophysiology that is involved in upper limb multi-trauma.
  2. Describe the pathology and healing process in hand trauma postoperatively and differentiate between complex and common hand and upper limb injuries 
  3. Analyse and interpret information gained from a referral, assessment, medical investigations (eg X-ray) and knowledge of the pathophysiology of the upper limb injury/surgery. This is in order to identify the precise nature of the patient's post-operative presenting problem and the clinical reasoning required to solve clinical challenges at differing intervals across the healing cycle.
  4. Where appropriate, practice through demonstration with reliable and valid assessment techniques at differing intervals across the healing cycle.
  5. Develop and describe intervention strategies (which may include an orthotic device/splint) for clients with specific hand and upper limb trauma, supported with sound clinical reasoning and current literature.
  6. Plan short and long-term goals for a patient including the treating surgeon and other members of the health care team. These goals should be realistic and consider the patient's physical and psychological state and their current level of functioning.
  7. Select and implement appropriate intervention strategies while clinically reasoning what effect such interventions will have on the patient’s level of function throughout the treatment process.
  8. Evaluate the effect of intervention throughout the treatment process and vary it according to clinical signs and symptoms and also changes in the relevant literature.
  9. Understand when referral to other health care professionals is appropriate and refer accordingly based on the presenting symptoms.
  10. Encourage patients to accept appropriate responsibility for their ongoing treatment and the outcome of that treatment through education and goal setting.

5.  Assessment details

There is an assigned topic that forms the basis of a pre- and post-course assignment as well as participation in our 'expert panel' during the course. The pre-course component requires you and a partner to find 5 recent published journal articles pertinent to your assigned topic, which you will list and submit to the presenters. During the course, you and your partner will form an 'expert panel' with our presenters to discuss this topic with the wider group and finally, you will individually prepare a paper on your assigned topic based on your learnings from the readings and the course content. The details of the assignment will be emailed to you in the lead up to the course and you will be able to nominate preferences for a topic based on your areas of interest. Your final assignment is due 1 month after the conclusion of the course.

6.  Statement of CPD hours

This is a certificate workshop, so participants are encouraged to undertake the assessment that will allow them to claim 50 CPD hours for attendance at a 2.5-day course, and successful completion of all course assignments. Participants not wishing to undertake assessment may claim 20 hours credit for attendance at 2.5 days. For those wishing to apply to become an Accredited Hand Therapist with the AHTA, this is a core course and successful completion of all components are a requirement for your application. 

7.  Course and booking enquiries

To book your place, please ensure you are signed in or create an account, then go to the Course / event dates and bookings website page and click click Purchase Event. Discounts apply for Associates and Accredited Hand Therapists. The registration costs for Advanced Open Trauma are:

Non-Member $1400

Associate $910

Accredited Hand Therapist $840

To become a member of the Association please click here

To ensure appropriate catering, please note any dietary requirements when completing the online registration form. Please note that not all requirements can be catered for at all venues.

Please read the Education Cancellation Policy prior to booking your place on this course. 

Please contact enquire@ahta.com.au to register your interest in this course or for any other inquiries.

8.  Teaching staff

Joy Hanna

Melanie McCulloch

Kathryn Phillips

9.  Course contact details

Contact enquire@ahta.com.au or the AHTA office on 08 9778 9070.

10.  Course schedule

For further information, please view the course schedule for this course. There will be practical sessions and it is recommended that you wear comfortable clothing, for example, gym gear.

11.  Previous participant feedback


12.  Intellectual property disclaimer

By registering for this course you agree that during the course, any contributions verbally or in writing which you make in regards to improving, altering or amending the content of the course, may be used by the AHTA in subsequent courses and will become the intellectual property of AHTA.