What is a Genetic Consultant?
The primary responsibilities of a genetic consultant are to provide clinical counselling services to families with genetic diseases, conduct clinical research on genetic diseases, and even train students in genetic counselling and genetic disorders.
What all do they do?
Genetic consultants may also be involved in research programs, health education, public health, and community support organizations. Importantly, genetic consultants will play a central role in integrating genomic medicine into mainstream healthcare, including research, laboratory genomics, and clinical care.
Genetic consultants work in many areas of medicine, including paediatrics, prenatal care, fertility treatment, neurology, oncology and cardiology. A genetics consultant provides genetic counselling and education to individuals and families at risk of hereditary diseases.
Genetic consultants share this information with other healthcare professionals such as physicians and clinicians, technicians and laboratory assistants. Medical lab technicians perform laboratory tests that genetic counsellors evaluate and use to counsel patients and their families. Not only will consultants draw blood for laboratory tests, but they will also ask individuals or families about their medical history. Genetic consultants study and evaluate genetic information obtained from laboratory DNA tests to identify patients or families at risk for certain genetic risks.
They counsel patients and family members by providing information, education, or reassurance about genetic risks and disorders. Genetic counsellors create detailed consultation reports that provide patients or treating physicians with information about complex genetic concepts. These health professionals provide information and support to people who may be at risk for various inherited diseases and help them decide whether to get tested for genetic mutations.
What is a Genetic Counsellor’s role?
Your role as a genetic counsellor is to explain and interpret genetic information to patients and support them and their families in using it. If the test results are unsatisfactory, the genetic counsellor should explain the options to the patient, refer the patient to a source of support and help, and possibly begin a long-term relationship with her and her family.
Why is it helpful for people?
Genetic counselling provides a risk assessment that helps families and individuals decide what to do with test results. Based on gene testing results, consultants help clients in several ways. Among the results of these tests and their impact on the individual, the genetic counsellor’s job is to correlate and interpret the results and help clients explore their options.
In addition to working as consultants to physicians, genetic consultants are instructed to contact the client’s relatives to inform them that they may also have a genetic predisposition to develop a disease or condition. Overall, genetic counsellors play a vital role in helping people investigate family risks for certain diseases and take steps to protect their health. Genetic consultants will find excellent prospects in general or speciality hospitals, medical practices, universities, outpatient centres, diagnostic laboratories, and genome centres.
The industry will continue to grow as more genetic tests become available, and people rely on them to make informed decisions about their children’s health. As the public becomes more aware of the availability of genetic testing without fully understanding the science behind it, genetic consultants must do their job.
Our team of trained geneticists works from home across the United States. InformedDNA remote genetic advisors provide telehealth consulting services by phone or video conference, while our team of genetic analysts oversees our extensive knowledge base, provides expert commentary on genetic testing requests, and develops genetic testing policies.