Welcome to the Hand Therapy Department
The Hand and Occupational Therapy service is available:
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 9am – 6pm
Wednesday: 9am – 1pm and Friday: 9am – 5pm
Michelle O’Donnell BSc (Hons) Professional Development Dip COT
Michelle O’Donnell is a Clinical Specialist Occupational therapist in hand and upper limb trauma and burns at St James’s Hospital and works as a generic hand therapist combining the skills of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy. She graduated from the University of Ulster in 1984 with a Diploma in Occupational Therapy and completed an Hons degree in 1994 in Prof. Dev. She spent the first ten years of her career working in the UK, Australia and NI predominately in rehabilitation services for head injuries, burns and spinal cord injury. She took up a senior post in Plastic surgery and Burns at St James’s Hospital in 1994 and was upgraded to clinical specialist in 2002. Michelle has gained extensive experience in the management and treatment of hand and upper limb conditions/injuries through her work in the public and private sector.
She has completed numerous accreditated courses specific to the treatment of upper limb trauma and burns. She has been actively involved in clinical audit of flexor and extensor tendon repairs and peripheral nerve injuries at St James’s Hospital for many years, with a view to modifying practice and improving clinical outcomes. She is a member of AOTI, and BAHT and has been an active committee member of the IAHT for the past 15 years, organising courses and conferences for OT’s and Physiotherapists with an interest in developing skills and expertise in Hand Injuries.
She formed Hand Dynamics with three other hand therapists in 2003 and runs BAHT accredited hand therapy courses for OT’s and Physiotherapists in Ireland and the UK. In 2012 Michelle successfully passed her certified hand therapy exam. This is a comprehensive test of advanced knowledge related to the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. This certification supports her competence to practise hand therapy.
Olga Hill BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, Certified Hand Therapist
Olga Hill graduated from University of Ulster, Jordanstown in 2002 with a first class honours degree in occupational therapy. Olga also holds a National Certificate in Applied Physiology and Health Science, which she completed in 1998. Olga then worked in The Adelaide & Meath Hospital, Incorporating the National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght, for three years. Here she gained experience in orthopaedic outpatients and inpatients, stroke, chronic pain, age–related healthcare and neurology. She then moved to St. James’s Hospital, Dublin in 2005 where she was senior occupational therapist for 6 years in burns and plastic reconstructive surgery. Here she has devised specialised skills in upper limb assessment, treatment and the fabrication of custom made static, static progressive, serial and dynamic splints to suit any upper limb diagnosis.
On returning to Tallaght Hospital, Olga now assesses and treats upper limb injuries within orthopaedics. In 2012 she successfully passed her certified hand therapy exam. This is a comprehensive test of advanced knowledge related to the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. This certification supports her competence to practice hand therapy. Olga works on a sessional basis at Beacon Hospital specialising in the treatment and rehabilitation of elective or trauma upper limb injuries/surgeries. She has made a lifelong commitment to hand therapy and is an active member of the Irish Association of Hand Therapists and the British Association of Hand Therapists.