Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2031
What Do They Do?A genetic counselor could...
Overview Listen to this sectionMany decisions regarding a person's health depend on knowing the patient's genetic risk of having a disease. Genetic counselors help assess those risks, explain them to patients, and counsel individuals and families about their options.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Genetic Counselor?
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Social Perceptiveness: ? Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Speaking: ? Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning: ? Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Science: ? Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks a Genetic Counselor might do:
- Interpret laboratory results and communicate findings to patients or physicians.
- Analyze genetic information to identify patients or families at risk for specific disorders or syndromes.
- Discuss testing options and the associated risks, benefits and limitations with patients and families to assist them in making informed decisions.
- Provide counseling to patient and family members by providing information, education, or reassurance.
- Write detailed consultation reports to provide information on complex genetic concepts to patients or referring physicians.
- Provide genetic counseling in specified areas of clinical genetics, such as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology and neurology.
- Determine or coordinate treatment plans by requesting laboratory services, reviewing genetics or counseling literature, and considering histories or diagnostic data.
- Interview patients or review medical records to obtain comprehensive patient or family medical histories, and document findings.
- Assess patients' psychological or emotional needs, such as those relating to stress, fear of test results, financial issues, and marital conflicts to make referral recommendations or assist patients in managing test outcomes.
- Provide patients with information about the inheritance of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and various forms of cancer.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in genetics.
- Prepare or provide genetics-related educational materials to patients or medical personnel.
- Explain diagnostic procedures such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS), ultrasound, fetal blood sampling, and amniocentesis.
- Refer patients to specialists or community resources.
- Design and conduct genetics training programs for physicians, graduate students, other health professions or the general community.
- Evaluate or make recommendations for standards of care or clinical operations, ensuring compliance with applicable regulations, ethics, legislation, or policies.
- Engage in research activities related to the field of medical genetics or genetic counseling.
- Collect for, or share with, research projects patient data on specific genetic disorders or syndromes.
- Identify funding sources and write grant proposals for eligible programs or services.
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