Farm Fresh Eggs

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Tara

Occupational Therapist

Tara graduated from a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) at James Cook University in 2021, joining our team after completing one of her university placements with us.

Tara is passionate about analysing the required postures and physical demands within different job roles and assisting clients to return to work and meaningful activities. Through her time at NQTS, Tara has provided vocational rehabilitation in a range of industries and has completed Functional Capacity Evaluations.

Areas of interest:

  • Job Task Analysis
  • Home assessments and home modifications
  • Worksite assessments
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Mobility aid and equipment prescription
  • Office ergonomics

Outside of work Tara enjoys camping, fishing and spending time with friends and family.

Ergonomic Audits and Advice

PErforM- Participatory Ergonomic Workshops – NQTS provides PErforM which is a program researched and developed by the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.  PErforM incorporates the process of consultation between workers, supervisors, managers and safety personnel to identifying and rating risk factors specific to their workplace, and identifying control mechanisms to reduce musculoskeletal strains and sprains.

PErforM was initially developed by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ), for general industry, as a part of a manual tasks research project. The PErforM program has since been modified for use in the surface and underground coal mining industries as well as the civil construction industry. North Queensland Therapy Services offers tailed PErforM Participatory Programs to companies looking for a wholistic approach to obtaining input from all areas of the workforce when managing manual tasks risks. Through this program participants will be educated to:
  • Identify risk factors
  • Systematically assess hazardous manual tasks,
  • Develop and implement controls,
  • Train workers and contractors in the risk assessment process.
  • Play an essential role in reducing the risk of injury in workplaces.
Other Ergonomic Audits and Advice – NQTS are able to assist companies to determine manual handling risks associated with current workplace activities.  Ergonomic standards such as White Papers and evidence-based standards are considered to determine the risk of the job to causing injuries.  Control options are discussed in our reports, though trials and consultation is recommended prior to implementing any changes. Anna Nicholls is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society of Australasia.  She is able to conduct ergonomic and risk assessments of the workplaces, considering the design, equipment used and patterns of activities which contributes to increasing musculoskeletal injuries.  Objective data assists managers to make effective decisions, and ultimately reduce the significant costs of injuries. Workplace Observations – Manual Handling Observations – Employers that are looking for a proactive approach to manual handling training, workplace observations is an onsite-feedback approach. This involves an Occupational Therapist attending worksites with a supervisor to observe workers perform normal workplace duties, then approaching them in relation to their manual handling techniques. Workers are congratulated on good postures/ work practices and improvements that can be made will be discussed or provided in report format.

Sarah

Accredited Exercise Physiologist

Sarah is an experienced Exercise Physiologist who graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology (Clinical) in 2012 and is accredited with Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA). Sarah has enjoyed working across a variety of clinical areas including musculoskeletal, pulmonary, cardiac, and vocational rehabilitation.
Sarah has been employed with North Queensland Therapy Services since 2014 providing vocational rehabilitation in a range of industries from mining to food services to office based work. Sarah is passionate about assisting clients to return to work and other meaningful activities. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys training and performing circus arts.

Areas Of Interest:
• Complex Case Management / Support Coordination
• Functional Capacity Evaluations
• Worksite Assessments
• Job Task Analysis
• Office Ergonomics
• Physical Activity in the Workplace
• Education for management of chronic conditions

Louisa

Occupational therapist

Louisa initially graduated from a Bachelor of Health Sciences at Deakin
University in Melbourne before moving to Queensland to study
Occupational Therapy at James Cook University. She graduated in 2015
and began work in aged care before joining the team at North Queensland
Therapy Services in 2017. Since then, Louisa has gained experience in a wide variety of services including outreach to various regions around Townsville for home assessments for private and government agencies, and vocational rehabilitation in industries such as mines, foundries, refineries, and office-based workplaces. Outside of work, Louisa enjoys walking and socialising on the Strand and playing soccer when she isn’t injured.

Areas of interest:
• Mobility aids and equipment prescription
• Lymphoedema management
• Home assessments and home modifications
• Health surveillance
• Job Task Analysis
• Functional Capacity Evaluations
• Office ergonomics
• Worksite Assessments

Kaitlan

Occupational Therapist

Kaitlan joined the North Queensland Therapy Services team in 2017 as an Occupational Therapist after completing a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at James Cook University.

Kaitlan provides outreach services to surrounding regions in North Queensland such as Ingham, Bowen and The Burdekin for home assessments and equipment prescription. Kaitlan enjoys enabling individuals to be as independent and safe in their own homes as possible. Through her work in vocational rehabilitation, Kaitlan has experience in a wide variety of industries and work settings, including mines, foundries, refineries, hospitals, and offices. She is passionate about facilitating injured workers’ return to meaningful and sustainable work.

Kaitlan is also a Registered Occupational Therapy Driving Assessor and can perform driving assessments and recommend rehabilitation, remediation, and vehicle modifications for drivers of all classes of vehicles.

Areas of interest:

  • Driving assessments
  • Home assessments and modifications
  • Mobility aid and equipment prescription
  • Job Task Analysis
  • Worksite Assessments
  • Office Ergonomics
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Complex Case Management

Outside of work, Kaitlan enjoys catching up with friends and family, playing tennis and spending time with her fur babies.

Naomi

Office Administrator

Naomi has worked with North Queensland Therapy Services as our Office
Administrator since 2018.
Naomi assists the team in booking and coordinating appointments,
accounts receivable and payable and any general enquiries. Naomi is your
first point of contact and the face that will greet you at reception when you
visit our office.
Outside of work, Naomi enjoys spending time with her two little Sausage
Dogs; Dax and Stephen. Follow their adventures on Instagram @thesillysausagebrothers

 

Areena

Occupational therapist

Areena is our newest Occupational Therapist to join the North Queensland Therapy Services team after graduating with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from James Cook University in 2021.
Areena is passionate about working with people and is strongly committed to improving the health outcomes and safety for all clients as she believes every person deserves to live independent, meaningful lives. Through her time at NQTS Areena has provided vocational rehabilitation in a range of areas and industries and enjoys working with injured workers to assist them in returning to meaningful, active, and supportive work.

Areas of interest:
• Case Management / Support Coordination
• Job Task Analysis
• Mobility aid and equipment prescription
• Worksite Assessments
• Office Ergonomics
• Functional Capacity Evaluations

Office Ergonomics

Workers in offices often think they are immune to injuries due to the “light” nature of work. These workers however are often at risk to Occupational Overuse Injuries, an umbrella term for a range of diagnosis such as tendonitis (e.g. golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow), carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve impingements etc.. Correct
set-up of the office environment, use of micro-breaks and stretches performed by workers in the course of their usual work can reduce the risk of these injuries.

NQTS offer individual workstation assessments, group ergonomic screening and education sessions targeted at office ergonomics

Pre-employment Functional Assessments

Workers in offices often think they are immune to injuries due to the “light” nature of work. These workers however are often at risk to Occupational Overuse Injuries, an umbrella term for a range of diagnosis such as tendonitis (e.g. golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow), carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve impingements etc.. Correct set-up of the office environment, use of micro-breaks and stretches performed by workers in the course of their usual work can reduce the risk of these injuries.

NQTS offer individual workstation assessments, group ergonomic screening and education sessions targeted at office ergonomics.

Functional Capacity Evaluations

Functional Capacity Evaluations are used to determine an injured worker’s suitability to perform the inherent required of their substantive position. Our experienced therapists perform various functional assessments according to the job demands. This may include joint range of motion screening, postural tolerances, manual handling, cardiovascular fitness or other specific work tasks. After the assessment, our Therapists complete a detailed report outlining the worker’s current functional capacity and make comparisons with their job demands.

Manual Handling

NQTS will assess various departments of the workplace to assess manual tasks from a Risk Assessment perspective and provide ideas on solutions to control identified hazards. NQTS provide feedback via presentations to supervisors or meetings to discuss and assist with control implementation.
 
Our Manual Handling Training Packages are designed specifically for each workplace and can include the following components:
 
Theory – discussion on the theory behind correct lifting and the anatomy of the spine and practice of manual handling skills in a “classroom” situation.
 
Practical – includes teaching correct techniques to workers such as pushing / pulling; lifting, moving, grasping, handling and climbing.
 
Competency – The second part of the training applies the manual handling techniques in the worker’s real working environment and uses the objects and tools already positioned there.  During this part of the training, each individual is assessed for their ability to perform each activity relevant to their work using safe manual handling techniques.

Workplace Fitness Programs

Employers who wish to improve the health of their employees. NQTS can provide workplace fitness programs for individual or group on-site training. Programs include discussions about holistic health with emphasis on exercise, nutrition, relaxation and stretching, a baseline assessment and periodic reviews.

Medico-legal Assessments

Our experienced occupational therapists offer opinions for both plaintiff and defendant solicitors. We are able to perform the assessments to determine past, current and future economic losses related to disability. These assessments may include:

  • Functional capacity evaluations
  • Upper limb assessments
  • Home visit assessments
  • Driving assessments
  • Ergonomic opinions
  • Cognitive assessments in the case of brain injury

We are able to present evidence by telephone or in person, should matters present to court.

Office Ergonomics

Following illness or injury, a person’s ability to learn to drive or resume driving may be affected by physical, cognitive, perceptual and/or behavioural changes, compromising the safety of both the driver and other road users. Anna Nicholls is qualified to perform practical driving assessments to assist doctors to determine an individual’s ability to continue driving safely. Driving modifications can also be trialled, though this service may have to occur in Townsville as there is only one driving school with these modifications available for testing and practice. Following illness or injury, a person’s ability to learn to drive or resume driving may be affected by physical, cognitive, perceptual and/or behavioural changes, compromising the safety of both the driver and other road users. Before returning to driving you should seek medical advice to be assessed. When your doctor or medical team treating you feel that you may be able to resume driving, an occupational therapist that specialises in driving will be able to assess you to assist doctors to determine your ability to continue driving safely. Driving modifications can also be trialled, though this service may have to occur in Townsville as there is only one driving school with these modifications available for testing and practice.

Step 1 – Off Road Driving Assessment / Pre-Driving Screen

An off road assessment is used to determine if your illness or injury has caused any problems that may affect your ability to drive safely.

The assessment tests:

  • Physical abilities
  • Vision
  • Reaction times
  • Judgement and planning
  • Knowledge of road rules and signs
  • Strategic thinking skills e.g. Decision making

The Off-road assessment results will assist your occupational therapist in determining:

  1. Your readiness for an On-road assessment; and
  2. If vehicle modifications are required

Step 2 – On Road Assessment

The On road assessment is usually carried out on the same day as the Off road assessment on the guidelines that a dual controlled car and driving instructor are available. The vehicle may be automatic or manual with additional modifications if required.The On road assessment takes approximately 50 minutes during which the occupational therapist will observe from the rear seat to assess the potential effects your illness or injury may have on your driving skills. After the drive, the therapist and driving instructor meet briefly and then sit down with you and give you feedback regarding the drive.

What Happens after the Assessment

Following the assessment, the occupational therapist and driving instructor may advise you of the following options:

  1. Unsafe to drive at the present time
  2. Vehicle modifications and lessons to learn to use controls are required.
  3. Required driving lessons to develop safe driving skills
  4. You are safe to drive

Your occupational therapist makes the recommendations. However, it is your referring doctor who must make the final decision on resuming driving.

Costs if Insured

If you are covered by some form of compensation (eg. WorkCover, Private Disability Insurance or Compulsory Third Party Insurance), the cost of the assessment may be met by them.For all other costs involved with a driving assessment contact our office to receive a quote.

Job Task Analysis

NQTS provides companies with detailed documentation which explains the physical demands of each position in a company.  The benefit of this process includes:  Using the reports to demonstrate to the doctor, the full requirements of the job; To assist with pre-employment processes, and ensures they match the job requirements and to assist with rehabilitation and graduated return to work programs

Functional Job Task Analyses are used for:

  • Assisting Doctors to understand the physical / functional demands of the jobs when they make medical decisions regarding injured workers or workers with medical conditions
  • Assist to identify suitable duties
  • Match applicants to the job using medical standards / pre-employment functional demands
  • Assists to identify tasks which may be risk hazards
  • A defendable documented process in legal cases

Understanding the Process:

Step 1 – Site Visit

Performing Functional Job -Task Analyses will involve a site visit from the therapist.  The therapist will question the workers, supervisors, observe the workplace, take photos of work postures and measure weights of equipment and products (of objects manually handled) as well as the other demands on the worker (including social and interpersonal demands).  We will need a site sponsor who will primarily lead the process from an on-site perspective and ensure the site visits will be organised in a concise manner and involving the correct persons for the job.

Step 2 – Documentation

Once the site visit has been completed, the therapist will document the information into a pre-determined format. 

Step 3 – Review of the Report Draft

The supervisors and/or select workers check the document and photos are accurate and then provide any comment and feedback on the report draft

Step 4 – Edit the report draft for final changes and close out the Functional / Physical Demands Task Analysis

The document is checked and changed as required and then saved in a protected format.

Home Assessments for Equipment and Modifications

Home Assessments

NQTS provide experienced therapists to perform home assessments to assess the suitability of equipment and or modifications required to assist people with independence in activities of daily living. NQTS are DVA registered providers offering services as far as Bowen, Charters Towers, Ingham and surrounds.

Mobility Assessments

Our staff are also able to perform assessment and prescription of mobility aids. This may include four wheeled walkers, wheel chairs, power wheel chairs and walking sticks.

Complex Case Management

NQTS are experienced in providing case management for people with workplace injuries (physical and psychological), traumatic brain injuries. We work with various stakeholders including Workcover QLD, CTP insurers, disability agencies, employers and solicitors.

Vocational Rehabilitation / Injury Management

NQTS are experienced in assisting injured employees with return to work programs. We aim to return employees to their pre-injury role or can provide vocational redirection if they are unable to return to work. NQTS can assist for particularly difficult cases where there is multiple or complex injuries or difficult circumstances.

  • Case Management
  • Host Employment
  • Job Preparation Assistance
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Vocational Assessments
  • Work Site Visits
  • Suitable Duties Plans
  • Return to Work Programs
  • Vocational Re-direction
  • Work Trial Set-up
  • Pain Management Coaching
  • Workcover QLD Approved Provider

Rehabilitation and Return to work Coordinator Training

As a result of legislative changes to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2013, Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators (RRTWC) are no longer required to be accredited to carry out their roles. It is now the responsibility of the employer to ascertain that an individual employee is ‘appropriately qualified’ to carry out a RRTWC role in the context of the environment they are working in.

The purpose of this training is to provide new RRTWC’s (and those seeking a refresher) with the basic skills, knowledge and resources to undertake the role of a RRTWC with confidence in their workplace.

Successful completion of the assessment activities will provide the beginning RRTWC with the essential knowledge to undertake the role. However, with all new learning, you will develop your skills with experience over time in the role. Ongoing mentoring and training is provided on a regional basis, and all RRTWCs are encouraged to remain active in their regional networks.

Manual Handling Observations

Employers that are looking for a proactive approach to manual handling training, workplace observations is an onsite-feedback approach. This involves an Occupational Therapist walking around worksites with a supervisor to watch workers perform normal workplace duties, and then approaching them in relation to their manual handling techniques. Workers are congratulated on good postures/ work practices and improvements that can be made will be discussed.

Pressure Garment Prescription

NQTS offer pressure garment prescription for clients that have inflammation of the veins, spider veins, varicose veins, thrombosis, leg ulcers and lymphoedema. Compression stockings lend the veins support in exerting a medical correct compression gradient onto the leg. The pressure decreases the diameter of the leg enabling the venous valves to close again, thus reducing the amount of blood flowing back down the legs which regulates the venous return.

Anna

Director / Occupational Therapist

Anna Nicholls is an Occupational Therapist who established North
Queensland Therapy Services in 2000. She has over 20 years’ experience in
the occupational rehabilitation field in a wide range of industries including
mines, refineries, foundries, mills, research centres and universities,
construction, and office environments.
Anna has also developed additional interests in pain management, injury
prevention programs, clients with acquired brain injury, stroke, spinal
injuries, and complex trauma.

Qualifications:
• Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (University of Qld)
• Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (QUT)
• Driving Assessor and Training (University of Qld)

Areas Of Interest:
• Pain Management
• Participatory Ergonomics Training
• Injury Prevention Training
• Driving Assessments and vehicle modifications
• Medico Legal Assessments
• Rehabilitation Co-ordinator Training
• Lymphoedema and other oedema management
• Complex Claims Management
• Functional Capacity Evaluations
• Worksite Assessments
• Human Factors and Ergonomic Assessments