Dr. Julie Fernandes works as a clinical specialist coordinating the Hand Therapy Fellowship Program at NYU Langone Orthopedic Center program. Originally from South Africa, she received her occupational therapy degree from the University of Cape Town. She went on to specialize in hand therapy, honing her ability to fabricate splints and treat surgical patients. In 2009, Julie relocated to Chicago and then New York City where she has worked as a certified hand therapist for the past eight years. She has a post-professional clinical doctorate in Occupational Therapy and has published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Occupational Therapy on “The Occupational Therapist’s Role in Perinatal Care: A Health Promotion Approach.”
In this interview, she discusses the Hand Therapy Fellowship Program at NYU Langone Orthopedic Center program; range of services provided by occupational therapists, an article she recently had published; how the coronavirus has redefined how occupational therapists provide services to patients; stage when hand splinting occurs for post-operative patients; different stages when occupational therapy is most effective for hospitalized coronavirus patients; interactions with patients via telehealth; differences between providing hands-on care in a clinical setting and using a telehealth approach; challenges that must be addressed in dealing with patients who have different personal characteristics, such as age; occupational therapy studies it may be worth launching in order to enhance the care of patients who will be treated in the future; and possible additions to occupational therapy education programs.