Genetic counselors are trained to analyze genetic data and communicate risk factors to patients and their families. Cancer genetic counseling aims to identify those with heritable cancer susceptibility for the purpose of promoting cancer-risk assessment and awareness, early detection and cancer prevention. A family history of cancer, muscular dystrophy, or cystic fibrosis might cause an individual to seek genetic counseling. Tasked with identifying potential predispositions for physical and mental diseases and disorders, genetic counselors are trained in the following:
Analyze patient histories
Determine the most appropriate genetic test(s)
Provide genetic testing and/or interpret results
Perform genetic risk calculations
Help patients and their physicians understand and apply genetic test results to medical management decisions
Help patients to cope with a diagnosis by connecting them to supportive, informative and research-related resources
Although this position hired to primarily work in Cancer Services, a Genetic Counselor is an expert in genetic research for birth defects and hereditary illnesses. Since a Genetic Counselor is also trained in many areas including Pediatrics, Gynecology as well as other areas, counselor may be utilized by other professional staff at Tidelands Health.
A Genetic Counselor works with at-risk hospital patients at the recommendation of their provider and assists them in their genetic evaluation and work-up. This will include direct interaction with patients and their families in person, by telephone and/or e-mail. Collaborates with cancer center staff and referring physicians to provide resources and support as well as hospital services to appropriate patients. Implements processes to assess needs, prevent pre-arrival barriers, and access proper resources for patients. Meets with patients to help and direct them. Monitors on-going needs of patients to ensure efficient and effective access to services. Responds to inquiries and interprets policies and programs to the public. Evaluates, develops, markets, and implements collaborative initiatives for patient population to promote genetic counseling programming. Builds relationships with community network and screening programs to increase access to patient care. Maintains accurate files, submits timely and accurate reports; meets timelines, follows through; appraises supervisor of status; provides viable and innovative solutions to problems; attends meetings/training, adheres to approved policy/procedures, represents the hospital in a professional manner, makes effective presentations. Proactively and assertively addresses issues as they arise. In summary, the Cancer Services Genetic Counselor facilitates the guidance of individuals through the healthcare system increasing their understanding of their genetic predisposition, risks, etc. Monitors and makes recommendations related to customer needs in the Oncology Service area. Promotes the mission, vision and strategic plan of Tidelands Health. Communicates well with all levels of customers, external and internal staff and completes other duties as assigned.
Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling, required.
Due to the small number of accredited programs, graduate schools often have a highly selective admission process.
Graduate program coursework requires clinical training through internships where students learn about the following:
Counseling ethics and techniques
Graduate of an accredited Genetic Counseling Program.
Certification/Licensure within two (2) years of hire through the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
American Heart Association Healthcare provider course with Basic Life Support (BLS) certification required to be initially completed with the TH Organizational Development Office within 30 calendar days of hire date (exceptions to obtain certification from a provider other than the TH Organizational Development Office are approved by TH Organizational Development on a case by case basis). BLS Recertification is required every two (2) years.
Genetic counselors are trained to analyze genetic data and communicate risk factors to patients and their families. A family history of cancer, muscular dystrophy, or cystic fibrosis might cause an individual to seek genetic counseling. Tasked with identifying potential predispositions for physical and mental diseases and disorders, genetic counselors are trained in the following:
Analyze patient histories
Provide genetic testing
Perform genetic risk calculations
Educate families about potential health risks
Help patients to cope with a diagnosis
Ability to remains composed under stress, handles self in professional manner at all times and takes personal responsibility for delivering on personal and organizational commitments.
Must be able to respond to changing circumstances and priorities in a focused manner.
Must be able to work independently with minimum direction.
Demonstration of proficient communication skills, both oral and written.
Demonstration of basic PC skills and knowledge of Windows and Microsoft office programs.
Must be able to coordinate and implement multiple responsibilities, projects and priorities. Must be able to work collaboratively with TH and non-TH Cancer Services.
Ability to utilize available technology to perform position responsibilities.
Ability to manage resources effectively and efficiently.
Applies and follows Tidelands Health policies and procedures.
Valid South Carolina driver’s license and access to personal transportation in order to travel from various TH work locations.
Physical Requirements: Light-Medium Physical Agility Test Rating (PAT)
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently (activity or condition exists from 1/3 to 2/3 of the time) required to stand, sit, and walk; frequently to use hands, fingers; and frequently to talk or hear. The employee must exert 15 to 20 pounds of force occasionally (activity or condition exists up to 1/3 of the time), and/or 5 to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or greater than negligible up to 5 pounds of force constantly to move objects.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job and will be measured by Physical Agility Test Rating.