Hands up for Hand Therapy Week 2024

June 5, 2024

This week, 3 – 9 June, we celebrate Hand Therapy Week!

Hand therapy practitioners are either Occupational Therapists (OTs) or Physiotherapists, who specialise in assessing and treating upper limb injuries. At Northern Health’s Hand Therapy Department, our practitioners primarily focus on injuries of fingers, hands and forearms.

Patients in the northern catchment who visit the Hand Therapy clinic often suffer from acute traumatic hand injuries, typically resulting from workplace accidents, sports injuries or incidents at home. Hand therapy clinicians enhance patient healing and facilitate a return to function by fabricating splints, offering rehabilitative exercise programs and providing scar management advice.

For patients requiring surgery, the hand therapy team is normally involved within the first week post-surgery, providing basic wound care. In cases where the injury can be managed without surgery, the Hand Therapy team collaborates with the Plastics team to determine the most effective treatment options.

“Hand Therapy is a specialised service that works closely with the Plastics Unit, and provides a multi-disciplinary team approach to treatment for the most suitable patient-centred hand therapy care,” says Fiona Moate, Clinical Leader Hand Therapy, Northern Health.

For Simone Cariss, Acting Associate Director Occupational Therapy, Northern Health, Hand Therapy Week is about recognising and celebrating the fantastic work of our highly skilled clinicians.

“For the first time in a long time, we have both OTs and physios working within the Hand Therapy team at Northern Health. The team has embraced a lot of change this year and has been instrumental to the implementation of the new and innovative Hand Therapy Procedure Unit. Since its commencement in October 2023, the unit has seen over 180 patients, enabling patient care to be streamlined direct from surgery to therapy, minimising touch points within the organisation, and improving patient waiting times and overall patient experience,” she says.

Feel free to pop in any time this week and say hello to the friendly staff that work in the Hand Therapy Department.

Pictured in featured image (L-R): Erin Williams Grade 3 Senior Clinician, Maddy Stewart Grade 3 Senior Clinician, Fiona Moate Grade 4 Clinical Expert and Jaime Do Grade 2 Hand Therapist.