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Genetic Counselors Go Back to List
Assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decisionmaking and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.
 Tools & Technology
 Tools used in this occupation:
 
  • Cryostats
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  • Benchtop centrifuges
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  • Ultracentrifuges
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  • Gel documentation systems
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  • Darkfield microscopes
  •  Technology used in this occupation:
     
  • Medical software
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  • Data base user interface and query software
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  • Analytical or scientific software
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  • Presentation software
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  • Office suite software
  •  Tasks
     
  • Analyze genetic information to identify patients or families at risk for specific disorders or syndromes.
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  • Explain diagnostic procedures such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS), ultrasound, fetal blood sampling, and amniocentesis.
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  • Provide genetic counseling in specified areas of clinical genetics such as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology and neurology.
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  • Assess patients' psychological or emotional needs such as those relating to stress, fear of test results, financial issues, and marital conflicts to make referral recommendations or assist patients in managing test outcomes.
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  • Provide counseling to patient and family members by providing information, education, or reassurance.
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  • Determine or coordinate treatment plans by requesting laboratory services, reviewing genetics or counseling literature, and considering histories or diagnostic data.
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  • Discuss testing options and the associated risks, benefits and limitations with patients and families to assist them in making informed decisions.
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  • Interpret laboratory results and communicate findings to patients or physicians.
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  • Interview patients or review medical records to obtain comprehensive patient or family medical histories, and document findings.
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  • Provide patients with information about the inheritance of conditions such as breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancer; cardiovascular disease; Alzheimer's disease; and diabetes.
  •  Skills
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
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  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
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  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
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  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  •  Knowledge
     
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
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  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
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  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
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  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
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  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
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  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m
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     Education & Training
      Education:   Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
      Related Experience:   Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
      View Related Programs on Connecticut's Education & Training ConneCTion site.
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     Wage Information
     
    Region Average Entry Level  Mid-Range 
    Annual  Hourly 
    Statewide $76,546.00 $36.80  $26.60  $31.33 - $45.11 
    ONET Resource Center Some of the occupational information on this page is formulated from O*NETTM v17.0 data. O*NETTM is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
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