Clinical Specialist Hand Therapy
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 Honours degree in 1994 in Professional Development. 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 accredited 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.