It’s not about me. It’s for my patients.
GeneSight: An important tool in busy new practice
I own a practice that includes five nurse practitioners, and we have a collaborative relationship with two psychiatrists in Ohio.
In my practice, my colleagues and I have ordered the GeneSight test for many patients. I found it easy to integrate the test into my practice.
Before opening my practice, I was the director of nursing for two psychiatric hospitals. I receive a lot of business because I am known for providing compassionate care to my patients. My approach is to assess the patient as a whole, sort of like putting puzzle pieces together.
For example, I visit a long-term care facility where the average age of the patients is 50. These are people that have been released from prison and other state-run institutions, who have many psychiatric comorbidities.
Many of the patients are currently taking 9 or 10 medications. When appropriate, I order the GeneSight test for those patients, and then I have important information about how that specific individual may metabolize medications.
Getting my patients to stability
Many of my patients are suicidal or completely unstable – and have been on three or more medications. I find that using the GeneSight test helps me get a handle on medication management. I read every word of the clinical considerations. As a result, this helps me to stabilize my patients.
My goal is to make GeneSight a standard of care in my practice.
I could tell you so many success stories, like the seven-year-old with severe ADHD who was really struggling to keep up in school and is now making straight As.
Another example is a 25-year-old male patient. Using the results of his GeneSight test together with a full evaluation, I found he may need a higher dose of the medication he was taking for his depression and anxiety. I increased the dose and as a result, he is no longer hoarding – and is now cleaning out his house and donating items to a nearby homeless shelter.
Modern-day “Florence Nightingale”
One of my favorite stories of how the GeneSight test helps patients is about an 80-year-old patient in a long-term care facility. She was in a wheelchair and sat completely bent in half. Workers would sit on the floor so they could look up at her and help feed her. She continuously tapped on the floor with her hands. There was no physiological explanation for why she did this; it had just become a habitual behavior.
She had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Her GeneSight report listed all the medications that had failed in the past. One antidepressant was listed in the green; no one had ever prescribed it. It is an older medication and largely forgotten about, but I tried it.
A week later, a nurse at the facility said I needed to come in to do an assessment on the resident. I held my breath and asked what was going on. The nurse said: “You won’t believe this. Our patient is sitting up straight!”
This made such a difference in her self-esteem which increased her social interaction – and added to the improvements in her anxiety and depression.
The patient’s family nominated me for a Florence Nightingale Award – all because of GeneSight!
This is for my patients
My job is so rewarding. I have had patients cry when they hear about GeneSight – out of both frustration that others have not recommended it, and with a sense of hope.
When I hear clinicians say they do not have time to do the GeneSight test, I respond that I make time, as this isn’t about me. This is for my patients.
This story is one clinician’s personal experience. Other experiences may vary.
As with all genetic tests, the GeneSight test results have limitations and do not constitute medical advice. The test results are designed to be just one part of a larger, complete patient assessment, which would include proper diagnosis and consideration of medical history, other medications being taken, family history, and other factors.
If you are a healthcare provider and interested in learning more about the GeneSight test, please call us at 855.891.9415. If you are a patient, please talk with your doctor to see if the GeneSight test may be helpful.