By Michelle Chacon, RN
TMS Coordinator at Sierra Tucson
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has arrived at Sierra Tucson, and in less than three months, has received tremendous feedback from our residents. TMS is an innovative treatment for depression that is safe, clinically proven, and non-pharmacological. For some, the idea of a non-drug, non-invasive depression treatment is radical. First cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008, TMS Therapy has improved the quality of life for more than 25,000 individuals who have been dissatisfied with the results of traditional treatment methods, including antidepressants.
TMS is performed under the supervision of Sierra Tucson psychiatrists by certified TMS clinical operators. Prior to initiation of treatment, a full psychological evaluation is conducted. Each session is approximately 40 minutes, scheduled five days a week, for up to six weeks. No sedation or anesthesia is needed. Side effects are minimal and localized, with scalp discomfort or headache being the most common reported.
What sets TMS at Sierra Tucson apart from outpatient TMS is the therapeutic environment in which residents are immersed, including a multitude of group activities and integrative services. As Sierra Tucson’s TMS coordinator, I meet with individuals who have been referred by the attending provider following their psychiatric evaluation. During a TMS nursing consultation, I explain how the procedure works and what can be expected during the initial visit and treatment. I also answer any questions the resident may have.
By far, the best part of my job is seeing individuals’ lives improve. Spending time with them one-on-one, five days a week, allows me the opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level, to hear about their journey and, over time, to witness the life-changing results of treatment. I am grateful to be a part of their transformation process.