Genetic And Genomic Education And Practice In Nursing

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Genetic and Genomic Education and Practice in Nursing
The Human Genome Project launched in 1990 and marked the start of an evolutionary change in healthcare. Medicine has made great advancements following the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 2003. In addition to these advancements, the scope of practice for nurses’ is continuously changing and expanding. There is a growing emphasis on genetic literacy in the nursing profession. In the era of personalized medicine, registered nurses are now expected to be knowledgeable and skilled in genetics and genomics, regardless of academic preparation. The American Nurses Association (ANA) and the International Society of Nursing Genetics (ISONG) have published collaborative resources defining
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Three years prior to the completion of the HGP, an education policy guideline discussed the need to incorporate genetics and genomics into nursing education and practice (Anderson, Alt-White, Schaa, Boyd, & Kasper, 2015). In 2012, a systematic review was published determining the perceived knowledge and actual knowledge of nurses in the workforce. Godino & Skirton concluded that “both perceived and actual knowledge of genetics was poor” (pg. 173) and the overall genetics education provided to these nurses was found to be low. Similarly, a 2012 survey discovered that 71% of practicing nurses understand the significance of genetics; however 81% had a fair or less than fair understanding of the relationship between common diseases and genetics. The survey also revealed that the nurses did not commonly utilize family history in practice; however they were open to further genomic education (Quigley,…show more content…
The goal of obtaining the genetic family history is to identify the potential risks for serious health conditions. Early identification of health risk’s can allow for a more individualized and focused nursing care plan, including lifestyle behavior modifications. The following are two brief examples that demonstrate the significance of gathering a detailed family history, matched with genetic knowledge:
• A nurse learns that a patient’s parent died at a young age from colon cancer. The nurse would recognize that the patient and any siblings are at risk for familial adenomatous polyposis, a familial cancer syndrome (Lea, Skirton, Read , & Williams, 2011).
• A patient is scheduled for surgery. The nurse knows surgery presents several immediate health risks. It would be important to question if there is any personal or family history of malignant hyperthermia (MH). Malignant hypothermia is a potentially fatal inheritable condition that a patient can present with following general anesthesia (Quigley,
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