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What does a Genetic Counsellor do?

12 November 2020
 
Today is International Genetic Counsellor Awareness Day! So, what exactly does a Genetic Counsellor do?

Genetic Counsellors play a vital role in helping people understand the impact of their inherited conditions, as well as empowering them to make informed choices about their health.

Genetic Counsellor, Rhiana Spinoso explains that they have specialised training in genetics and counselling.

“From the moment someone is referred to us, we connect with them, explain our role, gain relevant family history and answer any questions they may have.

“We’ll then explain what tests are required and prepare them for what their genetic test outcome will mean for them and their family," says Rhiana.

Genetic Counsellor, Lucinda Salmon says a very important part of their role is supporting patients’ emotional wellbeing.

“It can really be really challenging for someone to process their diagnosis, as well as how they share genetic risk information with their family.

“We help people understand their condition and how to explain this to other family members. 

“We’re there for them throughout their journey, and for their ongoing care,” says Lucinda.

At Austin Health, our Clinical Genetics Service specialises in hereditary cancer syndrome, heart and kidney diseases, and neurological conditions.

We also provide genetics clinics on-site at the Northern Hospital, and partner with Mercy Health to provide prenatal services at the Mercy Hospital for Women.

If you think you might benefit from genetic counselling, speak to your GP or treating specialist.

Find out more about our Clinical Genetics Service.

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