Expanding Nurses’ Roles in Telemedicine & Genetics Services

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

This article presents nursing roles in telemedicine and genetics services. Telemedicine offers a promising solution to delivering comprehensive genetics services to children and families when travel, distance, and shortage of genetics professionals interfere with access. Nurses are already using telemedicine to provide nursing and healthcare services but have become involved in the delivery of genetics services via telemedicine only recently. Involving nurses in the development of telemedicine systems for genetics services is essential as they serve as a vital link between the patient, the healthcare system, and the community. Some of the emerging nursing roles in telemedicine include genetic family-health risk assessment, evaluation and counseling at the advanced practice level and at the primary care level, referral, participation in genetic evaluation and counseling, and family- and community-based care coordination and management. The Genomics Nurse Case Coordinator role as described by Lea and Monsen (2003) is presented as a means of further expanding the maternal-child health nursing role in supporting women and families to manage their own genomic health. Telemedicine offers nurses an opportunity to assure and provide quality genetic healthcare tailored to the individual and family’s specific needs within their own community.

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