Paediatric Occupational Therapy
Beacon Hospital has specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapists on staff to treat younger patients in need of OT.
Commonly Treated Conditions
Fine Motor Skill Problems
Fine Motor skills are vital to a child’s development. Fine motor skills guide small movements of the hand and fingers, which allows a child to write and draw, as well as doing small everyday tasks such as using scissors, doing a zip up or buttons. Some children can sometimes have difficulty doing this, making the process of progression harder.
Using an OT with this issue helps your child regain any lost confidence with themselves, guiding them along a journey to performing tasks independently also identifying where these issues may have occurred from.
Here at Beacon Hospital, we recognize the importance of developing these skills as early as possible, with early intervention method. We not only want to help give you peace of mind, but we want to ensure your child continues to grow in confidence and within their own capabilities.
Sensory Processing Disorder
Some daily activities don’t come as easy to some children as they do others. Basically, the brain is finding it difficult to receive and respond to information that comes through the senses. Signs of this may be coordination problems, bumping into things, being hard to engage in conversation or play.
Once an OT goes through a diagnosis with a child, they can establish strategies and techniques to address the difficulties in practice.
Serial Casting is a procedure that helps children and adults improve their range of movement. Casts are changed regularly, maintaining the muscle in a stretched position. Those who may need serial casting are children who have cerebral palsy, brain injuries, Spina Bifida, Spinal cord Injury and much more.
OT’s use this method in order to enhance and strengthen the weakened muscles within the body. It stimulates growth in the muscle tissue, realigning the connective tissues.
Torticollis is a common disease seen in infants where there’s an abnormal position of their head and neck. It may happen as the child begins to experiment with sitting or trying to hold their own head up, or it can occur from birth. Regardless, with guidance with an OT, your child’s torticollis can be solved very quickly.
We understand that all issues are important when it comes to your children, which is why we want to assure that all health issues are important to us no matter how big or how small.
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 Beacon Hospital and sees Patients who require Occupational Therapy input throughout the hospital. Her role in Beacon Hospital 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 Beacon Hospital 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.