Assesses individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provides information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advises individuals and families to support informed decision making and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.
This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.
A person in this career:
- Interprets laboratory results and communicates findings to patients or physicians.
- Analyzes genetic information to identify patients or families at risk for specific disorders or syndromes.
- Discusses testing options and the associated risks, benefits and limitations with patients and families to assist them in making informed decisions.
- Provides counseling to patient and family members by providing information, education, or reassurance.
- Writes detailed consultation reports to provide information on complex genetic concepts to patients or referring physicians.
- Provides genetic counseling in specified areas of clinical genetics such as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology and neurology.
- Determines or coordinates treatment plans by requesting laboratory services, reviewing genetics or counseling literature, and considering histories or diagnostic data.
- Interviews patients or reviews medical records to obtain comprehensive patient or family medical histories, and document findings.
- Assesses 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.
- Provides patients with information about the inheritance of conditions such as breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancer; cardiovascular disease; Alzheimer's disease; and diabetes.
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