You now have the option to help patients while doing research, thanks to genetic counselling. This counselling career is still young as a profession but presents an exciting opportunity to those who want to venture into it. There are only a few genetic counsellors in the world. This counselling career only emerged in the United Kingdom in the 1980s and has produced around 300 genetic counsellors as of 2011. According to the United States’ Bureau of Labour Statistics, employment of genetic counsellors is projected to grow by 29% from 2014 to 2024.
A genetic counsellor is someone who helps people to understand the medical, emotional, and hereditary implications of genetics to a disease. He interprets family and medical histories, educates about inheritance, testing, management, and prevention of a disease, and counsels to promote informed choices, and how to adapt to a certain risk or condition.
Research shows that genetic variations may cause rare inherited disorders, cancer, or complex diseases as a product of our interaction with the environment, along with our lifestyle. DNA technology has become more affordable and accessible, causing an increased demand for professionals who can translate genetic information. Genetic counselling careers are on the rise. There are just not enough people qualified to meet the current workforce needs.
Genetic counselling careers are available in the medical field, not only in clinical settings but also in diagnostic laboratories. In a clinical role, a genetic counsellor works directly with patients, as a part of a healthcare team. The role is more varied and unique in a laboratory setting. Genetic counsellors can conduct research, perform genetic testing, enrol patients in clinical trials, study genetic diseases, conduct genetic tests, and develop marketing advertisements for new genetic testing.
Non-profit organisations and government agencies now also require genetic counsellors. You can work on improving the health of a specific population, and administer new-born screening programs. You can work as an advisor to a support group for families who are affected by rare genetic diseases. Becoming a research assistant or pursuing a high-rank academic position is also genetic counselling career options.
This role is challenging and exciting because genetic counsellors are not only involved in patient counselling, education, and referral, but also in activities that draw upon their knowledge of human genetics and communication skills. These activities include public and professional presentations, becoming members of ethics committees, manage and service roles in biotechnology companies, and participating in grant acquisitions, research, and publication. It is a very active and growing market, compared to other counselling careers.
Venturing into this counselling career requires a thorough understanding of genetics, an all-encompassing medical knowledge, clinical know-how, and outstanding communication and counselling abilities. If you have decided that you want to be a genetic counsellor, you should gather information about training requirements, and know more about the job through program directors and practising genetic counsellors. Chrysalis Courses provide counselling courses and talking therapies. Courses can be taken part-time to accommodate a busy lifestyle. For more details, visit http://www.chrysaliscourses.co.uk/.