Genetic counselors work as members of a health care team, providing information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. They identify families at risk, investigate the problem present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family.
Essential Job Duties:
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions
- Obtains patient and family historical medical data and interprets data obtained to determine possible problem area.
- Assists patients in understanding genetic disease or birth defects in order to provide professional counseling services.
- Assesses patient needs as they relate to emotional stress, fear of tests results, financial or transportation problems, marital conflicts or patient/physician conflicts so as to make proper referral recommendations
- Updates medical records and keeps team members apprised of patient problems.
- Refers patients for tests or to other assistance such as a social worker.
- Monitors information resulting from test results and agency referrals and reviews case for further evaluation to assure continuity of patient care and education of patient/family in nature of disease/problem
- The incumbent works closely with the physician in establishing a medical treatment plan.
- The counselor takes accountability and ownership for the outcome of all actions and decisions in fulfilling job requirements with special emphasis on customer satisfaction.
- The counselor must be prepared to serve as educators and resource people for other health care professionals and for the general public.
- Works as a patient advocate and refer individuals and families to community or state support services and refer individuals and families to community or state support services.
- Genetic counselors are health professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Most enter the field from a variety of disciplines, including biology, genetics, nursing, psychology, public health and social work. Master’s degree in human genetics and counseling or related field, and board eligible for certification as a genetic counselor by the American Board of Medical Genetics.
- One to three years experience as a genetic counselor.
Working Conditions, Equipment, Physical Demands:
There is a reasonable expectation that employees in this position will not be exposed to blood-borne pathogens.
Physical Demands –
Medium work. Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 30 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.
The physical demands and work environment that have been described are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The above job description is an overview of the functions and requirements for this position. This document is not intended to be an exhaustive list encompassing every duty and requirement of this position; your supervisor may assign other duties as deemed necessary.