Genetic Counselling : Process or Profession? Professional Tensions in an Aspiring Health Profession Jacqueline D. Ogilvie Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics McMaster University, Hamilton ON, Canada. Introduction
Genetic Counselling: Process or Profession?Professional Tensions in an Aspiring Health ProfessionJacqueline D. OgilvieDepartment of Clinical Epidemiology & BiostatisticsMcMaster University, Hamilton ON, Canada
Genetic services are expected to have an expanded role in health care. Yet, stakeholders debate the exceptional status of genetics in healthcare and who is appropriately trained to provide such services [1,2]. This debate can be seen in the field of genetic counselling as two seemingly distinct groups, genetic counsellors and nurses, have staked a claim in the practice of genetic counselling.
I compare here the professional identities of genetic counsellors and genetic nurses as represented by their respective professional societies.
I argue that these two allied health professions are vying for a similar position in the medical hierarchy. Drawing on theories of occupational closure [3,4] I suggest efforts of mutual closure and demarcation between these two female professions.
Occupational Closure in Genetic Counselling
Adapted from [3,4]