Genetic Counseling

School of Health and Human Sciences

Briana LubbenResponsibilities, Competencies, and Resources of Genetic Counselors in Managerial Positions
Capstone Project Committee: Beth Balkite, MS, CGC, Nancy Callanan, MS, CGC, Sat Gupta, PhD (Statistical Consultant), Leah Williams, MS, CGC
Background: According to the Professional Status Survey produced by the NSGC, the number of genetic counselors that hold managerial positions has increased over the past 4 years. While genetic counselors continue to expand into managerial positions, little is known about the responsibilities, competencies, or resources of these genetic counselors in management positions.  Goals: The goals of this exploratory study were to 1) describe the responsibilities of genetic counselors in management positions; 2) evaluate the importance and frequency of use of Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) Practice-Based Competencies (PBC) and select managerial competencies by genetic counselors in management positions; and 3) identify additional resources genetic counselors use to build their management skills.  We hypothesized that genetic counselors use the core competencies they already possess when they transition to management roles. Methods: Online anonymous survey methods and semi-structured telephone interview methods were used to survey genetic counselors self-identified as holding management positions. Results: The 113 genetic counselors in managerial positions who completed the survey rated all ACGC PBC and all given managerial competencies above a rating of 2 (with 3 being the highest), indicating they are important and frequently used in their current positions. Mentorship and personal communication with other managers was rated as being the most valuable resource to participants in gaining managerial skills. Although the majority (64%) of participants received on-the-job training in management skills, 83% would have liked additional resources and/or opportunities for management training prior to beginning their current managerial or supervisory position. Conclusions: Genetic counselors report using their genetic counseling skills in their current managerial position, although they desire more resources and training in the area of management. A special interest group (SIG) through the NSGC may be one way managers can connect with mentors, gather resources, and identify additional training opportunities.
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