Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

What Skills does a Genetics Nurse Need?

Career News October 27, 2013

A genetics nurse is a healthcare professional who specializes in genetic disorders and identifying the risk factors for genetic conditions. The skill that the nurse needs exceeds the general educational requirements of a registered nurse and has specialized knowledge that provides the opportunity to work with patients who have genetic disorders. Recognizing the responsibilities and skills that are required can help determine if the career is appropriate for personal goals or interests.

General Nursing Skills

Although the skills of a genetics nurse include specialized responsibilities, the nurse is still expected to know general nursing skills. According to the University of Mary, a genetics nurse must know the basics of giving patient’s medications, managing plans for patient care, providing general education related to a patient’s healthcare needs and obtaining medical history information.

A genetics nurse will still perform normal activities within the doctor’s office. Although the specialized skills set the nurse apart from other registered nurses, a large portion of the job skills and responsibilities relate to managing the needs of a patient. Nurses are the first point of contact to help patients settle down and obtaining information that provides better care. Although the general nursing skills make up a relatively small portion of the job duties when compared to other skills, it is still an important part of providing quality healthcare to patients.

Caring for Patients with Genetic Disorders

Although the general skills associated with the specialized field of study are an important part of the career, the skills related to caring for patients sets the nurse apart from other professionals in the healthcare industry. According to NurseWithoutBorders.com, a genetics nurse is responsible for patients who have a genetic disorder or who are at risk of developing a disorder.

The appropriate care the nurse provides will vary based on the genetic condition and the symptoms that arise. Regardless of the condition, the nurse is expected to provide treatment that helps manage symptoms of the condition and provide education to the family for better care outside the doctor’s office. Helping patients manage the genetic condition is one of the primary responsibilities and skills that the nurse must obtain before working in the specialized field.

Screening for Conditions

While treating a genetic condition is part of the job, genetics nurses are also responsible to run screening tests that identify the health concerns or the disorder. Genetic screening requires different tests based on the symptoms that are displayed and the risk factors that come from family history information.

According to NurseWithoutBorders.com, the genetics nurse can run a variety of screening procedures. Nurses might take blood samples to send out for tests, take x-rays of certain areas of the body or find out the details of family history to determine potential genetic conditions. By obtaining more information about the patient, nurses are able to identify potential genetic conditions that might cause health problems.

Preparing Parents during Prenatal Care

Identifying a condition before the birth of a child is sometimes the responsibility of a genetics nurse. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, malformations during pregnancy are one of the leading causes of death among infants within the United States. Genetics nurses are often called upon when prenatal screening shows abnormalities and specialized care is needed for the unborn child.

The nurses help parents get through the pregnancy and provide appropriate care after the child is born. They are also expected to help parents manage the needs of the child or provide emotional support if the abnormality causes an infant death.

Laboratory Skills

Although many genetics nurses will work directly with the patient or their families, some nurses also work in laboratory settings. According to NurseWithoutBorders.com, nurses in the laboratory need research and observation skills. The nurses research different genetic conditions and work to find better screening procedures to help catch genetic conditions early and provide better treatment for the patient.

The human genome is complicated and caring for patients with abnormalities in their genetic code. It is challenging, but nurses who specialize in genetics have the skills to provide appropriate care and treatment for conditions that might arise. Although the skills range from general nursing to research, the specialized field of study provides the opportunity to help families and patients manage their health.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
  • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Develop with hands-on practice, online and lab simulations and in depth peer discussions exploring best practices.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Current RNs can choose from RN to BSN or RN to MSN online programs
  • RN-to-BSN program offers courses in Illness and Disease Management, Principles of Assessment, and Holistic Professional Nursing
  • RN to MSN specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology and more
  • Courses help develop students’ assessment, patient care, and community outreach skills
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
  • Interested in Helping Others? Get Educated in the Medical Field.
  • Medical Assisting, Nursing, Health Sciences Degree Programs and More From Top Colleges that Fit Your Needs.
  • Build the Capabilities and Connections to Power Your Future.
  • Find Schools Online or Near You & Get Info for FREE Today!
  • Online Courses
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
  • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
  • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
  • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
  • Interested in Helping Others? Get Educated in the Medical Field.
  • Medical Assisting, Nursing, Health Sciences Degree Programs and More From Top Colleges that Fit Your Needs.
  • Build the Capabilities and Connections to Power Your Future.
  • Find Schools Online or Near You & Get Info for FREE Today!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!