beginnerIf you panic when you get a referral for a splint or orthosis, this course is for you! This course is designed for therapists who would like to gain confidence in their orthosis fabrication skills. If you have never made an orthosis for a patient, are intimidated to make an orthosis and don’t know where to start, or if you have had great difficulty with orthotic fabrication…this course will teach you splint making techniques and tricks to successfully fabricate custom-made orthoses to meet your patients needs.

Intensive, detailed demonstrations and instructions will be provided at a slow pace to ensure that the novice therapist masters pattern making and thermoplastic handling skills. All participants will master molding, orthosis modification, selection and use of padding, and strapping techniques. Time saving tricks and helpful hints will be shared. Learn to use tools correctly to avoid repetitive strain and personal injury.

Participants will also learn how to correctly choose and use pre-cut orthosis blanks. Generous lab time is provided for the novice orthotic fabricator to successfully complete each orthosis. Opportunity for one-on-one time with the instructor is provided throughout the course.

A variety of thermoplastic splinting materials will be used, giving the participant the opportunity to learn and identify which physical properties are important to specific orthosis designs. Discussion of literature, clinical applications and problem solving techniques will be included. Participants will successfully complete a variety of immobilization orthoses that fit correctly and that are functionally and anatomically effective. Learn to enjoy orthotic fabrication within a highly intensive, but relaxed teaching environment.

During the hands-on lab sessions, the course instructor will evaluate each orthosis fabricated to determine proficiency of 3/5 correct using 5 variables as listed in the objectives. Each participant will evaluate and score completed orthoses. A post-test at the end of the course is used to evaluate new knowledge. At the end of the course each participant will be given a course evaluation and a self reflective questionnaire.


Program subject to change. Participants are cautioned to apply new information and skills within the scope of state licensure law.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify 3 anatomical considerations of the hand related to orthotic fabrication for  patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify 2 mechanical principles of immobilization orthoses used for patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify 3 precautions for immobilization orthoses used with patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Recommend 2 clinical applications for each orthosis fabricated for use with patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify the wearing schedule and 2 methods of care for each of the orthoses fabricated for use with patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify 2 soft tissue considerations specific to immobilization orthoses for use with  patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Demonstrate 2 out of the 6 characteristics of thermoplastics during material handling
  • Identify 1 appropriate material for each orthosis fabricated that are used for  patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Demonstrate the 1 correct use of padding and 2 correct uses of strapping for each orthosis fabricated that are used for  patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Critique each orthosis for correct fit by utilizing 5 factors: forearm/hand length, edge flares/smooth, depth of forearm/hand, boney prominence pressure, strapping
  • Create, from the beginning of the design process to the culmination of the orthotic fabrication, 7 orthoses for the use with patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Demonstrate the correct use of 3 fabrication tools used to create orthosis for the patients with orthopedic hand conditions
  • Identify the correct name for the orthosis fabricated using the ASHT Orthosis Classification System

CE Credits

14 contact hours

This course is accepted by many professional credentialing organizations and state professional regulatory boards. Rules and regulations change frequently without notification, and apply differently to live and online courses. Please check with your state board to confirm accuracy of this list and acceptance of contact hours. Certificate of Attendance will be issued to all participants upon completion of the course and may be used for CEU verification of credits. CE credits vary by state. Please check with your state board/certifying agency to confirm conversion of contact hours to CE. See links below.


Physical Therapy Board of California: The Physical Therapy Board of California recognizes Rehab Education, LLC as an approval agency to approve providers offering continuing competency courses for CA licensed PTs and PTAs. This course is approved for 14 contact hours.

FL State Occupational Therapy Board: Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as an approved provider for general Live CE courses. Approval #20-539365. (Course must be taken after 07-2-2016)

Illinois State Board of Physical Therapy: Approved CE Sponsor by Illinois State Board of Physical Therapy, Division of Professional Regulations, Approval #216.000227. (Course must be taken prior to 09-30-2020)

NY State Physical Therapy Board: Rehab Education, LLC is recognized as an approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education by the NY State Education Department Board of Physical Therapy. (Course must be taken prior to 05-10-2022)

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Approved Provider #6177: See states that currently recognize AOTA Approved Providers for OT

  • AOTA Approval States

    These states currently recognize AOTA Approved Providers for OT continuing education either in regulatory language or by formal written communication to AOTA:

    District of Columbia
    New Hampshire
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina

    *Disclaimer: Rehab Education LLC provides this list for your convenience. At the time of listing, the following state boards accept courses by virtue of approval by other organizations. It is the responsibility of the participant registering for a course to check with their state board to confirm rules and regulations regarding acceptance of contact hours for live and online courses.

    The following PT Boards accept courses approved by other state PT boards or APTA state associations*:

    North Carolina

    The following PT Boards accept courses approved by other APTA state associations*:

    Rhode Island

    The following PT Boards accept courses provided by AOTA approved providers*:

    District of Columbia
    Rhode Island

    *NBCOT…National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (view PDU requirements)

    +HTCC… Hand Therapy Certification Commission  (view recertification requirements)
    Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC): This course is accepted by HTCC towards re-certification.

    State PT Boards
    State OT Boards


Day 1:

8:00-10:15 LECTURE:

  • Functional Anatomy
  • Orthotic fabrication principles and biomechanics
  • Orthotic fabrication precautions and clinical applications
  • Analysis of thermoplastic characteristics
  • Principles of immobilization
  • Custom vs. precut patterns
  • Strapping and padding choices
  • Clinical pearls
  • Methods to ensure proper fit
  • Overview of tools and equipment
  • Overview of ASHT nomenclature
  • Literature review

10:15-10:30 Break


  • Pattern making, padding/strapping and fabrication
  • Wrist immobilization (Dorsal Wrist Cock-up)

LUNCH 12:00-1:00

1:00-5:00 DEMONSTRATIONS AND FABRICATION LABS with 15 minute break

  • Pattern making and fabrication
  • Wrist/Hand immobilization (Resting Hand)
  • Finger immobilization (Finger Gutter)

 Day 2:  

8:00-12:00 WITH 15 MIN BREAK

  • Pattern making and fabrication
  • Thumb immobilization (Hand based)
  • Wrist/Thumb immobilization (Thumb Spica)
  • Finger restriction (Swan Neck)

12:00-1:00 LUNCH


  • Use of Pre-cuts and fabrication: Wrist immobilization (Thumb Hole Wrist Cock-up)

3:00-4:00 Discussion of clinical applications

  • Review of fabrication helpful hints, Post-course assessment

Susan Baum Locker MSEd, OTR/L

susan-baum-lockerhas been an Occupational Therapist since 1977. She has worked in a variety of settings: rehabilitation hospital, acute care, home health, independent living center and out-patient hand therapy clinics.  She has been a member of the American Society of Hand Therapists since 1982 and is board certified by the state of California as an advanced practitioner in hand therapy, and in the use of modalities.

Susan has been teaching splinting workshops since 1991. She has been a guest lecturer at ASHT (American Society of Hand Therapists), AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) and OTAC (Occupational Therapy Association of California), RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America) and Hand Therapy Special Interest Groups. Susan has been an instructor at the University of Southern California, and has co-authored numerous articles in the field of physical disabilities.

She remains clinically active as an occupational therapist (in hospital and out-patient hand therapy settings) and as an educator for the therapy community. Due to her broad knowledge in UE management, and her love for teaching, Susan has been teaching and mentoring hand splinting throughout the United States since 1991. She provides workshops that facilitate an intensive, but relaxed learning environment. Topics include splinting for the orthopedic, neurological, acute and pediatric patient.

More Classes taught by Susan Baum-Locker:

noelle-austin-sNoelle M. Austin MS, PT, CHT is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy and later obtained her Master’s degree at the University of Connecticut with a special focus on Allied Health Education. She obtained her CHT in 1996. Noelle has been teaching the art and science of orthotic fabrication for nearly 20 years. In addition to conducting both national and private workshops, Noelle has been involved in product development and training of sales representatives for Patterson Medical (Sammons Preston). She has written a regular column on Orthotic Fabrication in Patterson Medical’s publication Rehab Insider. She has presented multiple pre-conference workshops at Annual ASHT meetings as well as various State Chapter Annual meetings on the topic of orthotic fabrication. She owns CJ Education and Consulting, LLC that offers consulting services related to splint product development.

Noelle is currently employed as a Hand Therapist at Ortho Virginia; she previously worked for 17 years at ProPT in Hamden, CT. She also has teaching experience through her lectures at various colleges including the Physical Therapy Program at Lynchburg College in Virginia and Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, presenting lectures/labs on the topics of hand anatomy/kinesiology, examination/intervention and orthotic fabrication. She is also an active member of the American Society of Hand Therapists.

Noelle is co-author and co-editor of the book: Orthotic Intervention for the Hand and Upper Extremity: Splinting Principles and Process published by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2003/2013. In addition, she wrote the chapter ‘Wrist and Hand Complex’ in the 4th/5th/6th edition of Joint Structure and Function: A Comprehensive Analysis (Levangie and Norkin) published by FA Davis in 2005/2011/2016. She also authored ‘Orthotics in the Management of Hand Dysfunction’ in the 2nd and 3rd edition of Orthotics and Prosthetics in Rehabilitation (Lusardi and Nielsen) published by Elsevier 2007/2012.

More Classes taught by Noelle Austin:

Mary_Nordlie-sMary Nordlie, MS, OTR/L, CHT has been an OT for 40+ years and a CHT since 1992. Her hand and splinting experiences have included working at Level One Trauma Hospitals, private Hand Surgeon clinics, independent Hand Therapy clinics and currently at a large medical center as a Hand Therapist.

Her teaching experiences include international lectures /workshops in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, teaching at local colleges, various professional societies including the American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS) and mentoring countless OT students.

More classes taught by Mary Nordlie:

RECOR, Carol-sCarol Recor, OTR/L, CHT received her Occupational Therapy Degree from Colorado State University, and received her Certification in Hand Therapy in 1991.   Carol has extensive experience in custom orthosis fabrication.  She first developed her skills while working in a Level I trauma center and burn unit.  Since that time, she has worked at several outpatient hand clinics, and is currently a Clinical Specialist for the University of Washington Medical Center.   She lectures locally, nationally, and internationally, including lectures at ASSH and AAHS annual meetings.  She is co-author of the Hand Therapy chapter in “Principles of Hand Surgery and Therapy”.  Her areas of interest include complex hand and upper extremity trauma, wound care, and education of therapists, Hand Fellows, Residents and Surgeons.

More classes taught by Carol Recor:

Fisher_Debbie-sDebbie Fisher, MS, OTR, CHT, graduated from Washington University and has specialized in hands for the past 16 years. In addition to being an OT / CHT, she has advanced training in ergonomics, handwriting, yoga, LSVT, dry needling, & magic (from her husband who is a world renowned magician). Debbie has been published for her and her husband’s work with Magic Therapy and has been invited to lecture for the International Society of Hand Therapist, Project Magic, Texas Society of Hand Therapist, Alaska Occupational Therapy Association, Montana Occupational Therapy Association, and Texas Occupational Therapy Association, American Society of Hand Therapist as well as several companies and schools. Debbie currently lectures around the country on innovative treatments for the upper extremity, Saebo, and custom splinting.


Note: Early Bird rates are in effect if your application is postmarked four weeks or more prior to registration.Early Bird RateLate Registration Rate
Hand Orthotics 101: Getting Started with Fabrication$479.00$529.00

Dates & Locations

There are currently no scheduled workshops at this time.

Please note: 
Live courses require a minimum number of participants to operate. You will receive a written confirmation when minimum is met. Do not purchase non-refundable travel until you receive official written confirmation. Please see our cancellation policy here.