Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a diverse and complex area of medicine which not only treats the physical effects of illness or injury, but the mental, emotional, social and psychological aspects too.

At Beacon Hospital, occupational therapy is not limited to an age bracket or ailment. Our Occupational Therapists dedicate themselves to treating people of all ages, illnesses, injuries and impairments, enabling them to relearn skills to return or gain the mobility and independence they may be missing.

Our team of expertss provide a wide spectrum of treatments along with nurses and doctors to help you on the road to recovery. Beacon Hospital is proud to provide an extensive Occupational Therapy service to take any patient through the rehabilitation process, both in hospital and at home.

Beacon Hospital’s Occupational Therapy Unit specialises in both adult and pediatric OT, delivering solutions and treatment for a huge range of issues.

Adult Occupational Therapy:

  • Arthritis

    Arthritis is the inflammation of joints, varying across more than 100 different types of arthritis. Occupational Therapists can give you that piece of mind on how best to deal with your arthritis.

    OT treatments can teach you the exercises and practices which can make your arthritis more manageable, maximizing the patient’s ability to participate in activities, teaching safety and, generally, enhancing quality of life.

  • Carpel Tunnel and Tendonitis

    Carpel Tunnel occurs with repetitive flexion or bending of the wrist, causing inflammation and swelling within the carpel tunnel and puts pressure on the median nerve. Tendonitis is similar in that it also involves inflammation and irritation, however of the tendon.

    These injuries can both stem from work related actions- repetitive actions that are performed daily. In both cases, the importance of OT (Whether surgery has been used to treat or not), is paramount. OT’s can provide education and expertise on how to rehabilitate the joints post diagnosis or surgery.

    To experience as smooth a journey back to mobility as possible, our OT’s offer exercise plans and guidance on how to recover from both issues.

  • MS

    OT can often be used as a treatment for MS. Like Arthritis, OT is used both as an educational tool and physical practice to teach strength and conditioning, energy conservation techniques, general help with day-to-day activities and also improving cognitive rehabilitation. Occupational therapy is so disparate that it’s recommended for all people who live with MS, at any stage.

    The aim of OT for any MS patient, is to live their life with the greatest mobility they possible can, while mentally adapting to a different lifestyle. Our OT department is committed to giving you the best guidance and help in order to make this journey as easy as possible, for the future.

  • Post stroke or Heart Attack

    Patients who are recovering from strokes or heart attacks have a myriad of concerns and lifestyle adjustments, never mind fatigue, possible anxiety, low motivation and reduced mobility and strength.

    For those recovering, OT practices can help in so many ways. Occupation therapy post stroke or heart attack enables the patient to regain some control and stability over their own lifestyle again.

    Whether it be physically or mentally, they can educate and advise patients on relaxation techniques, energy conservations, home adaptions or equipment for rehabilitation. Even with the smallest adjustment with OT, patients can regain a sense of stability which allows them to move forward with their rehabilitation.

  • Spinal Cord Injuries

    Those who have undergone spinal cord injuries will have felt severe sensory, motor and other neurological impairments, as a result. Again, OT is used here as a treatment to enable people to return to productive lives.

    Our chartered OT’s provide education and skills to enable the patient to see the possibilities, with rehabilitation, focuses on all aspects of life: physical, psychosocial, occupational and contextual factors that impact occupational performance.

    OT can help SCI patients by giving them education, evaluating and recommending adaptations to their lifestyle, exploring return to occupations or vocational aspects of life, plus more. Our OT’s are dedicated to getting you back to as much mobility as possible, through rehabilitation and treatment.

The Team:

  • Carol Meere, Senior Occupational Therapist

    Carol Meere joined Beacon Hospital as a Senior Occupational Therapist in June 2013. Carol completed an MSc in Occupational Therapy at the University of Limerick and graduated with first class honours in 2009. In addition to her occupational therapy qualification, Carol holds a degree in Human Physiology and Rehabilitation which she obtained in 2004 from Carlow Institute of Technology.

    Carol began her occupational therapy career at St John of Gods Hospital, Dublin, where she was part of the specialised psychosis team, working with clients mainly presenting with chronic and enduring mental health difficulties. Carol was also responsible for the development of occupational therapy services into the acute secure ward of the hospital where she worked with clients in the acute phase of their illness. Carol then transitioned to the HSE and worked in the community as part of a developing primary care team in Area 1, Dublin where she gained valuable skills in the areas of care of the elderly, orthopaedics, oncology, home assessments, housing adaptations, specialised seating and assessment and provision of specialised assistive equipment.

    Carol is a member of the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland since 2008 and is an active member of specialised advisory groups within the organisation including the neurology, housing and primary care.

  • Julie Ann Doherty, Occupational Therapist

    Julie Ann Doherty joined the Occupational Therapy Department in Beacon Hospital as a Basic Grade Occupational Therapist in August 2015. Julie Ann attained a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Limerick and graduated in 2010. Julie Ann also holds a BA Degree in English and Sociology and HDip in Computer Science from University College Dublin.
    Julie Ann began her career in Occupational Therapy in Rush Acute Hospital in Chicago IL and worked there for nearly four years. Her role as an Occupational Therapist there included rotating to each area of the hospital for two months at a time where she increased her experience and skills in assessment and treatment of acutely ill Patients with complex needs. Areas of rotation included Neurology, Surgical and Cardiac ICU’s, General Medicine, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgical, Neurology. Julie Ann also provided temporary Occupational Therapy cover for ten weeks in the Acute Rehabilitation sector of Rush. In September 2014 Julie Ann became a certified Lymphoedema Therapist and covered in the Outpatient Sector as needed.

    Julie Ann is now based full time in the Beacon and sees Patients who require Occupational Therapy input throughout the hospital. Her role in the Beacon includes Occupational Therapy assessment and goal setting. Intervention includes Patients with specialised seating and pressure care needs, terminally ill Patients for imminent discharge home, Patients who have a new functional baseline or cognitive change, Patients with a new or progressive neurological condition, Patients who have rehabilitation needs and who are likely to improve with Occupational Therapy intervention at ward level. Discharge Planning is a key part of Julie Ann’s role in the Beacon and includes liaising with other members of the Multidisciplinary team, referrals to Community Occupational Therapy, Patient/Family education and advice around specialised assistive equipment.

  • Michelle O'Donnell, Occupational Therapy & 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 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 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 practice hand therapy.

  • Olga Hill, 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.

Occupational Therapy Contact: