A genetics nurse is a highly trained registered nurse who specializes in genetic disease prevention and cares for patients who may be at risk of acquiring certain genetic illnesses or diseases that may run in a patients family.
This can include patients who are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, skin cancer and Alzheimer’s among other common genetic diseases.
Genetics nurses use their training and knowledge to examine patient medical histories and trends, track blood in order to determine the likelihood of a patient carrying a particular genetic gene that can make them more susceptible to a particular disease and use various diagnostic equipment to check for signs or symptoms of a disease.
If the genetics nurse does determine that a patient is at a higher risk of inheriting a genetically transferable disease then the nurse will educate the patient about the disease, inform them on steps to take in order to minimize the likelihood of acquiring the disease, educate family members about family health and ask family members questions about their families medical history in order to gather more information.
Through the development and implementation of the genetics nursing field those who work as existing nurses, physicians and doctors are able to gather more information on their patients medical history in order to determine what diseases they are most susceptible to acquiring so that healthcare providers can provide the patient with early prevention methods in order to stop the process of the disease or at least alleviate many of the symptoms.
In addition to working directly with patients and healthcare providers genetics nurses may also choose to work in a variety of other fields related to genetic research and medical application.
Genetics nurses who choose to work in the research or pharmaceutical fields can use their training and expertise to perform tests, gather information and track the latest medical trends in genetics research so that it can be applied to the medical field in ways that can improve the lives of those suffering from certain genetically transferable diseases or illnesses.
Genetic nurses who want to work as nurse educators may choose to further their education and acquire their MSN or DNP degree which will allow them to educate students and existing nurses about the genetics nursing field and how to apply their nursing practice in ways that can improve the health and lives of their patients.