Networking, knowledge and new trends: the AHTA National Conference
Erika Lassig AHTA Accredited Hand Therapist
Working in the niche area of hand therapy, I often get asked how I keep on top of emerging trends and research. Of course, I read research articles and have pow-wows with colleagues, but I also attend the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) annual conference.
This is an event where hand therapy providers from around the country (and New Zealand!) gather to share to latest evidence for practice, learn about new trends in our field and share our own clinical research and experiences.
The conference is organised by the AHTA, the peak body for overseeing hand therapy practice and education in Australia. There is a scientific program with a variety of local and international speakers. There are poster displays and masterclasses. There are stalls showcasing a variety of clinical and non-clinical products. There are networking opportunities and to stimulate our brains there is a coffee cart (so important!).
This is a great professional development opportunity for those occupational therapists and physiotherapists in Australia and New Zealand who have chosen to pursue a career in hand therapy. As you can imagine, in such a niche field as hand therapy these larger scale opportunities are rare.
Each year there is a conference theme and the venue rotates around Australia.
This year the theme is ‘To Extremity and Beyond’ and is going to be hosted in sunny Brisbane. We have an exciting line up of speakers. Our keynote speaker is a renowned hand surgeon from Sweden by the name of Dr Elisabet Hagert.
We try to encourage all therapists working in the field of hand therapy, no matter how experienced, to attend.
Together we will learn, network and share our knowledge. If you are currently receiving hand therapy, we encourage you to ask your treating therapist whether they are planning to attend the Australian Hand Therapy Association conference this year.