Our Experience with Telehealth

Is it business as usual at Peninsula Hand Therapy?

Well the short answer is no!

In these ever-changing times we have had to make a few changes to our service.  Along with our increased cleaning regime, temperature testing and patient screening protocols before allowing access into the clinic, we have introduced Telehealth (video conference calls) as a way of minimising the risk and spread of COVID-19.

Telehealth has brought a new dimension to our treatment consultations. There have been a few hiccoughs, an obvious technical one is that our recently upgraded PCs didn’t come with an inbuilt camera, (this has been rectified). But more significantly also the loss of human interaction and touch.  We as therapist’s enjoy and rely on the “touch” element of our practice as it helps to build trust and rapport. We also learn so much from touching an injured area or watching the way you use your injured hand or arm in the clinic , will you voluntarily shake hands with your injured hand? Are you holding your arm in a protected “broken wing” position? What position is your hand in when opening the door?

What Telehealth has taught us to do better is actively listen. It makes us as therapists refine our communication skills. It forces us to be succinct and clear in our instructions. 

It has also given us an opportunity to build on our ever increasing YouTube channel with specific exercises (or search “Peninsula Hand Therapy” in YouTube). 

These exercises can be referred to when you need reminding of your home exercise program.

Because you aren’t in the clinic with access to our usual equipment, video consults force us to be creative with using everyday items within your home as rehab tools eg. water bottles for weights, balancing a ball on a tray or pouring water from a kettle for wrist strengthening.  Many studies suggest that using everyday items or functional activities is the most meaningful way to rehab an injury.

 Video consults can also give an opportunity to get those you live with to engage in your rehab e.g. kids can do the exercises with their parents or partners can be instructed on massage or taping or helping you put on your brace correctly.

We understand that the initial consult and some injuries will need face to face consult in the clinic. We can’t make you a splint if you’re not at the clinic and that is why we are still open for business. 

We can do our part for our community and hospitals by staying open to keep you out of the local emergency department or GP clinic. 

We can manage most hand, wrist and finger trauma in the clinic, or if we can’t, we can refer onto local Hand & Wrist surgeons who we work closely.

So, during this interesting time, we are here to help whether it be in the clinic or from home via Telehealth.

Is it business as usual? No! 
Is it going to be like this for a while? Probably. 
Can you call us if you have an upper limb issue? Absolutely!

This blog has been written by Sam Jubber, Clinical Leader and Hand Therapist at Peninsula Hand Therapy.