A Genetic Counseling Cultural Competence Toolkit

Genetic Counseling Projects
    Clinical Tools | Genetic Counseling Cultural Competence Tips | Cultural and Spiritual Assessment

Genetic Counseling Students Develop New Resources

New "building rapport" multilingual resources were developed by genetic counseling students as an outcome of a student-led cultural workshop conducted at the Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College. At the workshop, peer representatives from the French, Arabic, Spanish, ASL, and Mandarin Chinese cultures facilitated discussions about strategies to build rapport with non-English speaking patients including customary greetings, general language structure, and notable facts about specific cultural practices. Further exploration of scenarios allowed classmates to share experiences with particular cultural traditions and ask questions about certain misconceptions. “The workshop was a celebration of the wonderful diversity and open communication within the discipline of genetic counseling! We encourage others to have similar open avenues of communication about strategies to meet the needs of a diverse patient population in your workplace or training site” said Alicia Scocchia, Workshop Coordinator. The participating students want to share these handouts for use as a reference during patient communications or as an instructional tool to enhance familiarity with other languages.

Please note: The handouts were developed by genetic counseling students. While they were reviewed by several individuals and some native academics familiar with each language, they have not been formally reviewed by certified medical interpreters.

Building Rapport in Arabic.pdf

Building Rapport in American Sign Language.pdf

Building Rapport in French.pdf

Building Rapport in Mandarin Chinese.pdf

Building Rapport in Spanish.pdf

Achieving Consensus

Toward Concurrence: Understanding Prenatal Screening and Diagnosis of Down Syndrome from the Health Professional and Advocacy Community Perspectives, led by Janice Edwards and Richard Ferrante of the University of South Carolina, openly explored perceptions and misconceptions about prenatal testing for Down Syndrome with representatives of stakeholder professional organizations (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American College of Medical Genetics, National Society of Genetic Counselors) and Down syndrome advocacy organizations (National Down Syndrome Congress, National Down Syndrome Society). This focused, face to face forum allowed for open dialogue, better understanding of multiple perspectives, and greater resolve to continue working as partners. The Consensus Conversation identified several future projects with collaborative potential: developing materials for parents, developing practice guidelines for providers, and working together on emerging research projects. For more information, click here.

Submitted by Judith Benkendorf, ACMG Representative to the Consensus Conversation

The Life Rope: Engagement of Diverse Populations for Recruitment and Representation in Genetics

The Mountain States Genetics Regional Collaborative Center (MSGRCC) is working to identify new methods for genetics professionals to approach and effectively serve the vast diversity of individuals in our country. There are three primary issues that arise when attempting to engage minority populations in collaborative activities in genetics: knowledge and understanding of genetics, relationships with professionals, and access to information and resources. In response to these challenges, the MSGRCC Consumer Advocacy Workgroup developed a white paper to explore recommended considerations and practices to use in recruitment activities focusing on traditionally underserved populations.

This white paper explores these issues in the context of the Native American community and, in particular, the people of the Navajo Nation, whom we will refer to as “The People.” However, the principles of recruitment outlined will apply to many minority populations and should be considered when trying to engage them. This is not a step-by-step process but, rather, a guide to the issues that professionals should consider. Appreciation for the uniqueness of minority groups will only enhance clinical and public health outcomes.

Submitted by the Mountain States Genetics Regional Collaborative.

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