The Essentials of Genomics and Genetics for Nurses Katy Mooney NURS 505 Advanced Health/Physical Assessment May 6, 2012 The Essentials of Genomics and Genetics for Nurses The applicability of genomics and genetics to the professional nursing practice has considerably been increased ever since the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 2003…
While genetics refers to the “study of individual genes and their impact on relatively rare single gene disorders” genomics includes the “study of all the genes in the human genome together, including their interactions with each other, the environment, and the influence of other psychosocial and cultural factors” (Consensus panel, 2008, p. 8). Genomics takes into account the environmental factors and clearly demonstrates how these contribute to human health and illness. While genetics focuses on single gene disorders, genomics “takes a holistic view of genetics” (Ward, 2011, p. 2). Genomics and genetics knowledge, as well as competencies have been proved to be essential prerequisites in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of various chronic diseases. Similarly, with the advancements made in genetic and genomic research genetic testing is now being widely employed for the diagnosis and prognosis of many common diseases like cancer. As such, genetic and genomic competencies have become integral to the professional nursing practice today. This paper seeks to explore the essentials of genomics and genetics for nurses, and in doing so, it will look at genetic and genomic knowledge, competencies, professional responsibility, assessment and application of genomics and genetics to healthcare. ...
For him, the genomic era of health care is a paradigm shift for the nurses and they need to “consider the collective influence of multiple gene variations and the cumulative effects of all manner of environmental factors on an individual‘s health, risk for disease, response to therapies, even behaviors” (Ward, 2011, p. 4). Usually, nurses need to interact with the patients much more than other health care professionals and therefore it is imperative that they possess ample genomic literacy so as to prepare, administer and explain various genomic applications to the patients. Studies and researches in the realms of genomics have opened new horizons of clinical care to the patients. The applications of genomic discoveries are visible in many areas of the health care industry. As Jenkins, Grady and Collins (2005, p. 98) have observed, “the applications of genomic discoveries in clinical care are expanding diagnosis, treatment, and prevention at an accelerating pace, and that knowledge will continue to improve the health of people throughout the world.” This growing importance of genomics and genetics services has increased the professional responsibility for nurses as well. Genomics has also prompted nurses and other health care professionals to think in terms of the health of the individual rather than his/her disease. Another significant impact of genetics and genomic research is that it has given way for more comprehensive personalized healthcare. Genetic and genomic services facilitate more individualized approaches to treat one’s illness or disease. Lea & Calzone (2010, p. 15) have rightly pointed out that “the influence of genetic and genomic factors in health and disease is creating opportunities for earlier diagnosis, more effective ...
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