What does a Genetic Counselor do?
Separate from the various other health science professions, genetic counseling focuses on giving their patients power through knowledge. They explain your family history and the chances of a condition to occur or reoccur. They also counsel individuals or entire families for the promotion of informed choices and the adaptation to the risks and conditions.
How to become a Genetic Counselor
Genetic counselors generally have at least a master's degree in genetic counseling or genetics. Some genetic counselors go on to earn a Ph.D.
Job Description of a Genetic Counselor
Genetic counselors work in a vast array of laboratory, clinical, and research settings. Their career options include counseling pregnant women, couples that are planning pregnancy or are having trouble conceiving a child or at risk for having a child with a genetic condition, as well as women who have experienced miscarriages.
They also counsel families, parents, children, and teenagers who have genetic conditions such as deafness, sickle cell disease, birth defects, and developmental disabilities. They counsel people with genetic and medical conditions or have a family history of conditions that include cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer disease and Huntington disease.
Genetic counselors also advise physicians and other people who have ordered genetic testing about the most appropriate genetic test and about how to interpret the test. Genetic counselors can also work in public health settings and improve access to services.
They can also work as pharmaceutical consultants for companies and in private practices. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the projected growth for this career field in 2012-2022 is 41 percent.