Genetic Counseling

Genetic Counselor:

The genetic counselor is a health professional academically and clinically prepared to provide genetic services to individuals and families seeking information about the occurrence, or risk of occurrence, of a genetic condition or birth defect. Practicing as part of a genetic services delivery team, the genetic counselor communicates genetic, medical, and technical information in a comprehensive, understandable, nondirective manner with knowledge of and insight into the psychosocial and ethno cultural experiences important to each client and family. The counselor provides client-centered, supportive counseling regarding the issues, concerns, and experiences meaningful to the client's circumstances.


Genetic CounsellorFunction:

■ The predominant activity of genetic counselors is consulting with individuals (and/or their families) with birth defects or genetic disorders and who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions.

■ They identify families at risk, investigate the problem(s) present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence, and review available options with the family.

■ Genetic counselors also provide supportive counseling to families, serve as patient advocates, and refer individuals and families to community or state support services.

■ They serve as educators and resource people for other health care professionals and for the general public. Some counselors also work in administrative capacities. Many engage in research activities related to the field of medical genetics and genetic counseling.

■ In addition to direct contact with couples and individuals to provide genetic counseling services, most genetic counselors devote professional time to medical professional education, public education, grant writing, and research, as well as serving on national genetics and related professional boards and national, state, and regional health/genetic services delivery committees.


Workplace:

The genetic counselor is a health professional academically and clinically prepared to provide genetic services to individuals and families seeking information about the occurrence, or risk of occurrence, of a genetic condition or birth defect. Practicing as part of a genetic services delivery team, the genetic counselor communicates genetic, medical, and technical information in a comprehensive, understandable, nondirective manner with knowledge of and insight into the psychosocial and ethno cultural experiences important to each client and family. The counselor provides client-centered, supportive counseling regarding the issues, concerns, and experiences meaningful to the client's circumstances.