Genetics is responsible for many of the factors that make us who we are. Our genetic makeup helps to determine, to some degree, how our minds and bodies are formed, our personality, and even the color of our eyes. These days, the field of genetics has become extremely popular. More and more medical professionals are flocking to this area of expertise, and it continues to grow.
If you want to learn how to become a nurse in the field of genetics, you first need to understand exactly what this sort of nursing job entails.
What Genetic Nurses do
A genetics nurse helps care for patients who have diseases or disorders, or have the potential to be at risk for diseases or disorders, that are caused by genetics. As a genetics nurse, you’ll be responsible for caring for many types of different patients. You may work with children, pregnant women, and even the elderly.
If you want to help provide care for your patients without actually coming in contact with patients, the genetics field may be an excellent choice for you as well. Many genetics nurses are responsible for researching genetic problems. This involves looking for possible risk factors that can contribute to certain diseases. You may need to look at genes and research what disorders or diseases might occur due to missing, mutated, or extra genes or chromosomes.
A typical day in the life of a genetics nurse typically involves the following duties:
- Collecting medical information from patients
- Collecting blood samples
- Studying x-rays and ultrasounds
- Speaking to patients and helping them understand their risk of disease
Where do Genetic Nurses Work?
As a genetic nurse, you’ll have the opportunity to work in several different locations, including ambulatory care settings, clinics, hospitals, prenatal care centers, and nursing homes. Universities and research centers often employ these types of nurses as well for research purposes. Almost any medical facility will be willing to hire you as a genetics nurse because these types of nurses work with every kind of patient.
How to Become a Nurse in Genetics
When you want to learn how to become a nurse in genetics, the first thing you need to know is that all of these nurses start out the same way, by earning their bachelor’s degree and becoming an RN. Many then go on to earn their master’s degree and then doctorate. This typically takes another four to six years and can be done online or on campus.
After completing this schooling, nurses can sit for a credentialing exam provided by the Genetic Nursing Credentialing Commission. First, however, they need to have a bit of experience under their belt. They must have 45 hours of genetic continuing education, have 50 cases under their belt relating to genetics, and five years clinical experience in the field.
Want to know how to become a nurse that deals in genetics? Earn your RN credentials and continue your education while gaining experience in the clinical genetics field.