Meet Ruby, our Hand Therapy Development Program Therapist

January 25, 2022

This year SportsCare will be welcoming a new Hand Therapist in training to our team of experts, and what’s most exciting about this new staff member is that she’s the first person to join us as part of SportsCare’s new Hand Therapy Development Program for outstanding aspiring Hand Therapists.

Ruby will be saying goodbye to her home in the Sunshine State as she will be relocating from Brisbane after being offered this unique opportunity.

Ruby graduated from the University of Queensland in 2019 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy with Honours and has been working at The Prince Charles Hospital since then.

She chose to pursue a career in Hand Therapy after clinical experience ignited her passion for the field.

“What really appeals to me is the hands-on nature of Hand Therapy and understanding the anatomy and biomechanics of the upper limb. Also, as an OT [Occupational Therapist], understanding the psychosocial impact of disease and pain means I can be more holistic in my approach.”

This is an exciting time for our first Development Program student as she will get to work across our clinics and shadow some of Canberra’s leading Accredited Hand Therapists. Ruby was looking to start her Hand Therapy career, so when this opportunity came up, she jumped at it.

“I was looking for opportunities to start my Hand Therapy career and the SportsCare job ad popped up on my Seek page. I did a bit of a stalk of SportsCare online and one of my colleagues at the hospital I was working at, who’s also a Hand Therapist, spoke well of a few of the Accredited Therapists she knew from the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA). So I took a leap of faith and so far, it’s paid off.”

“From the first chat with Louise back in July 2021, it was clear that SportsCare was a workplace that would help me develop my skills in Hand Therapy in a supportive environment with mentoring from a variety of experienced therapists. The way I have been supported during my quarantine period gives me confidence in my choice.”

Although Ruby only visited Canberra for the first time in 2020, she says the friends she was staying with did a good job of selling Canberra to her with its friendly, outdoor lifestyle.

“Prior to my 2020 visit, I had never been to Canberra, and I’m keen to explore all of the obligatory things that Canberra is famous for like Parliament House, the War Memorial, and the National Museum at some point.”

“I’m also really excited to explore the NSW South Coast and be close to the snow, as well as live in a place with the benefits of a big city, whilst maintaining the vibes of a small town.”

Clinic Partner Louise Roantree says it was clear Ruby would fit in with SportsCare’s values and culture from the first meeting.

“During my first conversation with Ruby where we discussed her goals and interests, I knew she’d be a great fit for SportsCare,” said Louise.

“And what stood out to me during the process was her passion to work in Hand Therapy and her courage and willingness to relocate to Canberra to pursue her professional goals. I feel fortunate she chose us.”

Our Hand Therapy Development Program was created to provide training and support for future therapists who are committed to pursuing a career in Hand Therapy.

Hand Therapy is a highly specialised field. Our hands (including wrists and fingers) consist of 27 bones, 27 joints, 34 muscles, over 100 ligaments and tendons, and blood vessels and nerves, making them complex anatomically. Hand Therapy is not usually covered very extensively at university, meaning hands-on experience is limited and clinicians complete additional studies to become qualified in Hand Therapy. Many Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists therefore regularly refer hand injuries and conditions to a Hand Therapist.

Our new Program gives early-career therapists exactly what they need at this point in their career: mentoring and guidance from experienced Hand Therapists, dedicated training time for study, and exposure to the many facets of Hand Therapy in a clinical and hands-on environment.

As part of the Program, Ruby will undertake ongoing work within an experienced Hand Therapy team, working with surgeons and specialists, treating professional athletes, and working with a team who is always looking at opportunities to reach further into the community through Hand Therapy and contribute to progressing the Hand Therapy profession.

The Program also includes time for reflection, a supportive environment to develop, grow, and ask questions, and participants will gain essential practical experience in our clinics.

What makes our program different to others?

  • Participants will spend time with a team of six experienced Hand Therapists in different clinics.
  • We will hold weekly clinical discussions for knowledge sharing and collaboration.
  • Participants will have access to surgical observations with local surgeons.
  • Participants will work with a multi-disciplinary team at SportsCare, meaning they’ll be exposed to other areas of Physiotherapy so they can collaborate with other clinicians to meet clients’ goals.
  • Our program is always evolving to meet the demands of emerging Hand Therapists and keep up to date with the field.
  • We have Canberra’s strongest team of experienced and innovative Hand Therapists.

In 2021, SportsCare acquired Hands-On Physiotherapy in Mawson to expand our ability to provide this service to the Canberra region. Soon to be SportsCare Mawson, the clinic continues to offer expert Hand Therapy services to the community.

At SportsCare Canberra, we are passionate about effective health care and injury management for many different conditions and injuries. Our team brings over 100 years’ experience in Hand Therapy. With availability 5 days a week and locations in Barton, Bruce, and Mawson, they form the largest and most accessible Hand Therapy team across Canberra.

Hand Therapy at SportsCare:

Our team can help if you need your hands for work, sport, or quality of life.

SportsCare’s Hand Clinic offers:

  • Splints and braces
  • Waterproof casting
  • Post-operative management
  • Arthritis management
  • Sport injury management
  • Musician injury management
  • Manual therapy
  • Scar management
  • Swelling management
  • Exercise prescription
  • InterX
  • Education.

Life with a hand injury can be problematic. Common conditions that are treated by our qualified Hand Therapy team include:

  • Fractures, joint dislocations,
  • Tendon injuries,
  • Ligament injuries,
  • Overuse injuries,
  • Carpal tunnel,
  • Tennis elbow,
  • Osteoarthritis,
  • Rheumatoid arthritis,
  • Post-Operative rehabilitation,
  • Multi-trauma, and
  • Sports, workplace, and nerve injuries.

For a tailored treatment plan and at home exercises, book an appointment with one of our Hand Therapists.

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