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The role of a TMS coordinator at Northshore TMS.

My name is Donielle. I’m a TMS coordinator. I handle many of the initial calls that first come in, (from people) who are enquiring about TMS and the treatment. And then I also am a technician, so I handle the patients as well when they come in for treatment. When patients first call and are looking to know what TMS is about, we first explain to them what the procedure is about, so they know something about the time commitment that is correlated to it. It’s five days a week for up to six weeks, and then we have a two-week tapering period that’s three and three. So we try to make sure patients are aware of that, as it is a severe time commitment. We do let them know right away that we will work around them as much as possible. We try to give them some sort of consistent appointment schedule and some consistency. And then we also let them know that we will work around their schedule as much as possible.

What kind of time commitment can the patient expect when they call you – when they’re coming from a place of severe depression – for a full round of treatment?

Well, the initial call I’ll spend as much time as necessary, giving them as much information as they feel will make them comfortable.

And what kind of questions do they typically ask?

They typically ask what their treatment option is and why it’s such an option to look at. They’re typically looking at why TMS is such a great option as opposed to medication and they also want to look at how it even began. We also go to the STAR*D report to show them how this first even began, to look as an option; why medications were often looked at as failing many patients and patients were able to find remisison. We show how TMS has been able to show for many patients, some sort of relief. We give them a little bit more of the clinical background and then we explain what it is about this specific practice, and why we seem to find such high remisison rates.

I go into a bit more specifics in regards to Dr. Carlsen; her background as a functional medicine doctor. I also let them know what they can expect if they get into treatment here, which is really more of an emplyoment of the biopsychosocial formula. I find that that is probablty one of the things I find most important about DR Carlsen. She really looks at the entire treatment that is involved. It’s the biology which includes the TMS treatment. She looks into supplemental information, what is the genetic information that you might need. She looks at the genetic testing. She has several differnet forumlas that she uses for that. Amonsgt that is genomics, which we have gotten great information on patients about.

Dr. Carlsen will also look at what your outside network is, what your therapists are, what are the social relationships that you have currently, and how has the depression you suffered affected those relationships. And during the course of treatment, how we will work together to look at differnet aspects of what we can do to improve that; including what type of therapy are you going through at the moment – if any at all – and what we could recommend for you. We’ll often go into specifics as far as a specific therapist that we feel might be good for you. Perhaps there’s a psychiatrists that we feel would be beneficial for you, that will also work in conjunction with Dr. Carlsen for a new medical plan, to look at your medications.