Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus Covid-19 (updated 1 April 2020):

How have we responded to theCoronavirus Covid-19 pandemic

We are continually changing our procedures based on information from relevant government health departments. We continue to improve all our procedures and infection control measures to minimise the risk of infection to our staff and patients. We are using Purifas faceshields when patients need to lye facedown, as these provide 100% coverage of the face hole in the plinths.

COVID-19 status It is sad to hear of the number of people infected with Covid-19, and if you are one of them we hope that you recover soon. Although is very sad when any one person dies, the good news is that the death rate in Australia is less than 1% (as at 1 April 202 of the 4700 or so patients twenty have died making a death rate of 0.43%), and about 80% of people will recover with only having mild symptoms. For daily updates refer to https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers

At this stage to the best of our knowledge, none of our staff or patients have been infected. 

The Coronavirus Health Information Line is a useful number to have on hand, such as in your mobile phone  contacts list: 1800 020 080 or 13HEALTH.

COVID-19 Warning Signs 

 If       You have fever AND any of these symptoms: cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, sore throat, diarrhoea or vomiting

Or      Travelled overseas in the last 14 days

OR     Had close contact with someone diagnosed with or suspected of havingCoronavirus / Covid-19in the 14 days before getting sick

Then please do not attend the practice until you have phoned our reception on 3205 7019. We may need to reschedule your appointment. We wish we could help you but in such cases you should contact your local hospital’s fever clinic or local GP. Once you have recovered from Covid-19, or tested negative, we look forward to treating you.

How to help us keep the clinic COVID19 free: If you have travelled overseas within the last 14 days then please do not attend our clinic until 14 days has passed. If you have a cough without a fever we will provide you with a face mask to wear while in the clinic. If our clinic waiting room becomes too full we may ask you to wait outside or in your car till your appointment starts. Due to Covid-19 whenever possible we only allow patients in the waiting room. Exceptions include babies, young children, translators if needed for the consultation. All our staff have completed the Australian Government Department of Health eLearning course in Infection Control Training - Covic 19. We are currently waiving our usual cancellation fees if you cancel within 24 hour notice of your appointment. We are now able to offer Telehealth services to some patients. This can be an excellent way for some people to receive very beneficial treatment. Of course the removal of sutures, making of thermoplastic splints and many other situations will still require a consultation at our clinics.

Are we closing down? No! As one of many essential healthcare businesses we have no expectation of needing to close down due to government requirements. However even this may change depending on health advice given to our government.

What is a virus and where do they come from. If you wish to know what a virus is and where they come from, then this science based article written by Dr Robert Carter for the non-technically minded provides many useful insights: Coronavirus in creation https://creation.com/wuhan-coronavirus. The article has an electron microscope picture of Covid-19.

Frequently Asked Questions if you have had recent surgery:

What will the Hand Therapist do at the first session after my surgery?
The Hand Therapist will remove the plaster and dressings and give you a lighter dressing and make a light weight thermoplastic splint (orthotic device) if it is required. Your hand surgeon or your hand therapist will remove any stitches at 10 to 14 days post-surgery. Future sessions will be timed to best meet your wound care and rehabilitation timetable to optimise your recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions in general:

What can a Hand Therapist do for me?

An enormous range of injuries and conditions can affect the hand and arm. Some are common, some are very rare. These problems are usually not caused by any one activity (Skirven et al., 2011). Believe it or not you are just as likely to damage a finger doing a forceful, hurried home activity, such as making a bed, or tucking in a shirt, as you are catching a ball (Smit et al., 2010). No matter the nature or severity of the injury, rehabilitation in the form of hand therapy will speed your recovery and quick return to doing the things that you love the most (Slater & Cheshire, 2000).

Here at Northside Hand and Upper Limb Clinic our occupational therapists and physiotherapists focus on only treating hand and arm problems. We have studied the anatomy, injuries and treatments for a wide range of conditions. We keep in direct contact with plastic and orthopaedic surgeons, GPs, Allied Health Professionals and Insurers to enable us to provide specific help for you that is not available in a general therapy clinic.

Our aim is to promote healing and normal patterns of movement while restoring feeling, strength, full movement, endurance and function following accidents, surgical procedures, repetitive strain or sporting injuries, as well as injuries from or before birth and age-related conditions.

  • swelling,
  • scarring,
  • stiffness and
  • abnormal patterns of motion...

can set in, leaving the affected limb weak, painful and potentially non-functional (Skirven et. al., 2002). Why settle for a sub-optimal result when regular consultation with our practitioners can provide you with an individually designed rehabilitation regime aimed at empowering you and facilitating your full return to function?

Northside Hand and Upper Limb Clinic is unique in its ability to offer a wide variety of therapeutic modalities such as electrotherapy and dry needling, exact measuring by way of high-tech electronic equipment and skilfully devised home programs that are monitored and upgraded regularly so as to ensure optimal management from the time of injury to return to full function.


Skirven, T.M., Osterman, A.L., Fedorczyk, J., Amadio, P.C. (2011). Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity (6th Edition). St Louis, USA: Mosby.

Slater, M., & Cheshire, L. (2000). Hand Therapy: Principles and Practice. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.

Smit, J.M., Beets, M.R., Zeebugts, C.J., Rood, A., & Welters, C.F. (2010). Treatment Options for Mallet Finger: A Review. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 126 (5), 1624-1629.



When should I see a Hand Therapist?
If you have had surgery you generally should plan to see the Hand Therapist 3 to 5 days after the surgery. Before 3 days, you are still recovering from the anaesthetic and the potential bleeding needs to settle down in the post-operative bulky plaster and dressings. After 5 days your joints and soft tissues will start to get stiff and will need to be moved via a carefully constructed taylor made rehabilitation programme designed for you. 

If you have not had surgery, you can see us as soon as you are aware of a problem with your upper limb. Most soft tissue conditions respond much quicker and with a better result if they are treated early. Then one of our dedicated and experienced team members will give you the appropriate exercises for your condition. Electrotherapy, wound care and other treatments may also be given depending on your condition.

What will the Hand Therapist do at the first session after my surgery?
The Hand Therapist will remove the plaster and dressings and give you a lighter dressing and make a light weight thermoplastic splint (orthotic device) if it is required. Your hand surgeon or your hand therapist will remove any stitches at 10 to 14 days post-surgery. Future sessions will be timed to best meet your wound care and rehabilitation timetable to optimise your recovery.


  • You do not need to have a referral to see a hand therapist if you are self-funding the therapy.
  • A referral is preferred (but not necessary) if you are privately funded and claiming through your health fund, such as BUPA or Medibank Private.
  • A medical referral is necessary from your treating surgeon, or GP, if you are covered by an insurer such as WorkCover, QBE, GIO, Allianz, AAMI, or DVA
  • You will need to bring with you your insurance details.
  • It is helpful to bring with you any operation notes, x-rays, bone scans and other investigations such as MRI or ultrasounds you may have.
  • We accept referrals under the GP Enhanced Primary Care Plans, but there is a gap between what the Government gives back and our fees. We ask that you pay the full fee at the time of the consultation and claim your rebate from Medicare by posting or taking your receipt to Medicare.