Dr. Shane Wernsing, Psychiatrist
Dr. Wernsing graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota with a degree in chemistry. He then went on to earn his Medical Degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Wernsing completed his internship and residency in the Twin Cities of Minnesota and his fellowship in Wisconsin.
Psychotropic medication is defined as medication prescribed by a person who may lawfully prescribe (according to a child’s diagnosis), to treat mental illness and associated behaviors or to control or alter behavior. The major classes of psychotropic medication are antipsychotic (neuroleptic), anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, anti-mania, stimulant, and sedative/hypnotic. Other miscellaneous classes of medication are considered to be psychotropic medication when they are specifically prescribed to treat a mental illness or to alter behavior based on a child’s diagnosis.
The Leo A. Hoffmann Center has strict protocol for prescribing and monitoring psychotropic medications. An initial assessment is to be completed upon admission to our facility. This assessment includes an evaluation of indications for previous evaluations and apparent response to psychotropic medications. Once the client is in treatment the physician will provided the following in dictation format diagnosis, target symptoms, expected response for each target symptom, method for establishing the minimum effective dosage, criteria for decreasing or discontinuing medications, including time frame, expected side effects, and method for monitoring. Informed consent is required for all non-emergency use of medications. Written informed consent is obtained for all medications newly prescribed as well as for all medications previously prescribed which are being continued.
Response to psychotropic medication, including impact on target symptoms, plus side effects are monitored and documented at least weekly for the first six weeks after a client begins taking a new psychotropic medication or a significant increased or decreased dose of a currently used psychotropic medication, and at least quarterly thereafter. Primary Counselors are trained to monitor psychotropic medication and record side effects on assigned clients under the supervision of the registered nurse. Standardized data collection methods, such as the Psychotropic Medication Monitoring Form, DISCUS, and MOSES are used. Target symptoms are identified at the time of the assessment. Others may be added later as indicated. The physician must review the results of monitoring at each appointment, in addition to any physical or laboratory assessments determined to be appropriate as a monitoring tool.
Responses to psychotropic medications are reviewed by the physician at least monthly for the first six months after starting a medication and then quarterly thereafter. When reviewing the monitoring forms the physician my requests a dosage change. The Registered Nurse will notify the client’s guardian and therapist, make the necessary changes on the client’s medication record, include dose change in monthly and quarterly reports and record a note of the change in the Unit Log Book.
Psychotropic medication will not be administered as punishment, for staff convenience, as a substitute for a behavioral or therapeutic program or in quantities that interfere with learning or other goals of the Individual Treatment Plan.