By Naomi Hammonds
Genetic counselors are able to provide families and individuals with information for those considering genetic testing. The genetic counseling process helps individuals understand how their genes can affect their future children. To begin, the act of genetic counseling involves specially trained health care professionals who can identify families at risk, investigate problems present in the family, interpret information about the diseases, and analyze inheritance patterns. Genetic counselors can work in a variety of settings, those of which including a clinic or hospital. Not only do they specialize in counseling, genetic counselors communicate with laboratories and notify patients with their test results.
The Online Master of Genetic Counseling Program [Photograph found in Boise State University’s School of Allied Health Sciences]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from https://online.boisestate.edu/genetic/
Genetic counseling isn’t necessary for the majority of individuals since about only 3% of babies born in the United States are born with birth defects. However, genetic counselors aim to support these individuals through information in areas including cancer, prenatal, and pediatrics. In addition, some genetic counselors even specialize in areas such as cardiology, neurology, and infertility, among others. Most appointments take place in-person, but as the access to genetic counselors expands, many now provide consultation through videoconferencing, the phone, and the internet. Genetic counseling is most definitely an interesting healthcare professional that is evolving as the world gains new innovations.
Genetic Risk Assessment [Photograph found in Jersey Shore University Medical Center]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from http://www.shifrinmd.com/genetic-counseling.html
1. Genetic Counseling. (2018, June 12). Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/genetic-counseling/
2. Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nsgc.org/page/faqs