Helena Hayes B.OT (Hons), Member OTA
Northside Hand welcomes Helena Hayes who is an Accredited Hand Therapist, and an Occupational Therapist with over 14 years of experience and has spent the last 12 years focused on hand and upper limb injuries. She specialises in the care of people’s wounds and management of traumatic conditions of their hands and upper limbs. Helena has a particular interest in painful conditions of the wrist.
Prior to joining Northside, Helena worked at the Mater Adults Hospital for over ten years as one of the Senior Occupational Therapists in Hand Therapy. Helena has primarily worked in the areas of
- Plastics - the treatment of wounds, grafts and flaps, tendon repairs, soft tissue injuries (sprains, strains and dislocations), burns, reducing swelling and improving scars (surgical and open wound scars), mastectomy and breast reconstruction scar management, compression for venous insufficiency and ulceration of limbs.
- Orthopaedics - the treatment of fractures of the hand and upper limb both surgically repaired and conservatively managed (in cast/plaster/plastic splints), carpal tunnel, arthritis and other joint conditions.
- Rehabilitation - treatment of the upper limb post neurological condition (post stroke, brain injury, heart attack) including after Botox injections or casting. Also she has worked with people who have had surgery for knees, hips or their spine. Her skills include helping people return to using their hands for activities of daily living.
Helena has completed a wide range of additional training in the following areas:
- Wound care - 5 day wound care course at The Wesley Private Hospital,
- Manual Oedema Mobilisation (MEM) - Taught by the world’s leading hand therapist in this area. Helena can teach you massage and treatment techniques (bandaging, kineseotaping, compression prescription and exercises) for swelling (oedema) as a result of injury/trauma or overloaded lymphatic vessels.
- Complex wrist injuries - These can include the rehabilitation for ligament injuries and retraining strain/sprain and fractures of the wrist.
- Scar Management - Tight and itchy scars can impede hand and upper limb function, so Helena uses compression, silicon sheeting and elastomer moulds, massage and exercises for scars after surgery (C-section, mastectomy and breast reconstruction, skin cancer removal, grafts and flaps, upper limb surgeries and trauma).
- Hypertonicity management - at the University of Queensland Hypertonicity Clinic Helena learnt techniques including assessment, casting, splinting, post Botox injection management and program development to manage the upper limb with hypertonicity.
- Dry Needling for painful conditions of the upper limb.
- Pain management for conditions such as:
- CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
- Nerve pain in the upper limb
In 2001, Helena graduated with first class honours in her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Queensland. Helena is an Accredited Hand Therapist with the Australian Hand Therapy Association. She continues to develop her skills and experience through interest groups, journal clubs and conference attendance. She has presented the following topics to her peers including:
- “CRPS - a walk in the park”: 2011 Australian Hand Therapy Conference in Sydney
- Tendon Injury and Rehabilitation: Plastic Surgery Department at Mater Adults Hospital
- Moist Wound Healing: OT Department Mater Adults Hospital
- MEM - use and potential for Fracture management: OT Department Mater Adults Hospital
- Wrist Ligament Injury and rehabilitation: OT Department Mater Adults Hospital.
“ I am passionate about taking a person who has pain and an injury that may look awful to them, in the case of complex injuries requiring surgery, and guiding them through to a healed, functional and pain free state. Seeing someone return to function, work or play and wounds healed well is a wonderful thing.” Helena Hayes, Occupational Therapist