Psychiatric Care and Medication Management
It is the School’s philosophy that using medications can provide a better chance for some students to use and benefit from the therapeutic milieu.
However, the School’s goal — and that of consulting psychiatrist Louis Kraus, M.D., Department Head of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Rush Medical Center — is to have each student on as few medications as possible, at the lowest dosage possible, and only for as long as needed to help treatment occur.
- The structure and interactive care provided at the School allows students to have a more predictable experience of the world, easing their need for medications. This tends to occur naturally as they settle in and become a part of the O-School community.
- Working within the milieu, staff members observe students and can report to the psychiatrists throughout the day. Sharing this information is beneficial in determining treatment approaches, allowing for the proactive increase or decrease of psychiatric supports, as needed, to reduce the likelihood of an acute psychiatric crisis or hospitalization.
The O-School provides full-time pediatric and psychiatric nurses during and after school. All prescribed medications are properly dispensed and supervised by qualified staff.
- During daily medication administration, students check in with a nurse, and can learn about their medications or register any concerns about side-effects.
- The nurses and psychiatrist work closely with each residential student’s parents to determine the best medication regimen, and to ensure everyone understands the potential side-effects.
- Residential Program families are provided, at no additional cost, access to a local pharmacy that administers medications in a day-and-time bubble pack system, for increased safety and convenience.
- For supplements and over the counter medications, nurses work with both the psychiatrist and pediatrician to ensure there are no interaction concerns.
In-Patient Psychiatric Hospitalization
All staff members are trained and capable of identifying when a student is having heightened levels of psychiatric distress. When concerns about a student’s safety become intensified, the staff members at the School and the psychiatric team communicate to determine the best course of action.
MDs are on-call 24/7 for psychiatric services for residential students. These services are provided through Rush Medical Center under the direction of Dr. Louis Kraus.