The Department of Physiotherapy provides specialised hand therapists to work with the surgeons. The hand therapists treat both inpatients and outpatients. They work both with the medical team in clinics at RNSH but also run a separate hand therapy only clinic which is accessible by GP or allied health referral.
Ray (Unit Lead), Stacey, Christina and Jade are permanent senior clinicians, working with a six-monthly rotating junior physiotherapist. The senior clinicians are members of the Australian Hand Therapy Association, with recognition as Certified Hand Therapists by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (USA). They have close links with Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia (Australian Physiotherapy Association).
The hand therapists use specialised skills in the assessment, planning and treatment of hand surgery conditions, to provide therapeutic interventions, restore function and/or reverse the progression of pathology.
PLASTER ROOM PHYSIOTHERAPISTS
The Department of Hand Surgery is supported by experienced physiotherapists in the Plaster Room. NSW is different to other states in Australia as the physiotherapists do the casting for fracture and trauma management. In other states this is done by cast technicians.
Trish and Sue have worked with the RNSH hand surgeons for over 25 years each, perfecting the art and science of applying (and removing) the optimal plaster for each type of fracture and hand injury. They are very involved with the patients' exercise regime during their treatment and commencing their rehabilitation. The physiotherapists are also involved with the casting/splinting of patients with complex, chronic needs in the areas of spinal cord injury, spasticity and paediatrics. When not plastering hands, they can be found helping our orthopaedic colleagues or passing on their skills to medical staff and junior physiotherapists.