Genetic counselors work as part of a health care team, providing information and support to families affected by or at risk of a genetic disorder. The goal of genetic counseling is to help people understand and adapt to the implications of genetic contributions to disease.
Genetic counselors interact with clients and other healthcare professionals in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings such as university-based medical centers, private hospitals, private practice, and industry settings. They serve as a central resource of information about genetic disorders for other health care professionals, patients, and the general public.
The responsibilities of a genetic counselors:
The genetic counselors explain the diagnosis and any issues about the condition, including how the condition is expected to progress, the management of the condition, treatment options, whether genetic testing is available, and the chances of the condition being present in future pregnancies.
Prenatal genetic counselors work with individuals, couples, or families who have an increased chance of having a child with a birth defect or genetic condition.
Cancer genetic counselors evaluate families health history and talk about risks for inherited cancer, as well as screening and management for those at increased risk.
Psychiatric Genetic Counselors
If someone has a personal or family history of a psychiatric or mental health condition, the psychiatric genetic counselor will help answer questions about the cause of the condition.