Science has seen numerous innovations in the field of genetics and genomics with the DNA being a major development. The innovations integration to the health sector particularly nursing has been accepted with mixed reactions. Genetics was first started by Watson and Crick where it was the study of genes and their link to biological inheritance. Genetics studied the genes in living organisms and the way they contributed to inherited conditions i.e. phenotype and prototypes (Junglen, et al. 2008). Genomics on the other hand incorporates technology in the study of genes so as to examine the living creature at once. Genomics can be said to be the study of every gene found in the human genome. This study examines the interactions within the individual, the environment, and the influence by the cultural and psychological. This is an all inclusive nursing practice.
According to Badzek, et al., 2008 in the article “Genomics and Nursing Practice: Advancing the Nursing Profession” genetics and genomics have brought numerous benefits to the healthcare sector over the past two decades. Genetic studies individual genes in the genome and addresses conditions that occur from a single gene error; these are not frequented by nurses. Genomics studies the relations of specific genes that are found within the genome and the relation with the environment. The genomic changes or relationships explained above are observes by nurses frequently in patients. An example can be the occurrence of chronic diseases and nurses can develop major patterns of healthcare.
The health sector can use the technology of genetics and genome to assist patients easily and make easier diagnosis. Hereditary illnesses are easier to identify for those individuals that are infected. Incorporating genetics and genomics to health care will also make it easy to prevent emergency occurrences to terminally ill patients and thus make them lead a normal life (Junglen, et al. 2008).
Nurses should possess certain competencies in that they must be able to recognize attitudes and values related to the technology, they should also advice patients to take genetic tests in a bid to encourage patient knowhow. Nurses are also charged with the duty of incorporating this technology into the registered practice. They should also give individualized care and ensure preferences are made to meet the patient population that is diverse. They are also responsible for advising patients on the right decisions that involve testing, treatment, and participating in genetics and genomics (Dugas, 2005).
The nurse has specific roles in the health sector when this technology is incorporated; he/she must understand prevention, screening, prognostic, diagnostic, treating the patient, and monitoring the treatment effectively in the health situation. Family history on the basis of health should be presented to the nurse and should include a minimum of three generations (Junglen, et al. 2008). The nurse is also responsible of constructing a pedigree that comprises of the family history provided that will be constructed with standardized symbols and terms. The nurse professionally must obtain personal, developmental, and health history of the patient that is based on genomic influence, environment, genetics, and risk factors.
The nurse will critically evaluate and analyze the patient’s historical information to identify cases of genetic and genomic factors. He/she must also categorize credible, appropriate, current genetic and genomic information, accurate resources, technologies, and/or services specific to specific patients. She/he will also ensure ethical, cultural, ethnic/ancestral, societal issues, fiscal, religious, and legal, that relates to genetic and genomic technology is identified to suit the customer’s profile (Junglen, et al. 2008).
The patient is entitled to making informed choices and knowledge of her/his condition will make her/him take the necessary steps in redeeming health and living a normal life. Genetics and genomics can be described as the technology that makes the health sector treat patients accordingly since the root problem is identified and treated.
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