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Evaluating a webinar series designed to educate genetic counseling students about the applications of laboratory genetic counseling

Walsh, Leslie Kathleen (2017) Evaluating a webinar series designed to educate genetic counseling students about the applications of laboratory genetic counseling. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Due to the growth of genetic technology, genetic counseling training programs are challenged with building a foundation of knowledge in a constantly evolving field. As a result, there is a struggle to incorporate more educational content into training programs to ensure students’ success as practitioners without increasing the overall length of training programs.

GeneDx, a commercial laboratory, has been involved in the training of students interested in learning more about the laboratory applications of genetic counseling. In the past, they had welcomed students onsite to gain this experience, but with the increased demand for clinical placements with ACGC’s requirements for all genetic counseling students to have laboratory experience, the requests for placements have outweighed GeneDx’s ability to accommodate all interested students. To meet the needs of those unable to rotate on site, GeneDx created an eight-week webinar series highlighting the unique role of a genetic counselor in the laboratory setting. This series included seven lectures and one panel discussion.

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of the GeneDx webinar series in educating genetic counseling students about the laboratory applications of genetic counseling as well as the satisfaction of both the students and program directors with the series.

Pre and post-lecture quizzes were used to assess students’ knowledge of the material contained in the seven lectures. Paired t-tests identified statistically significant increases in knowledge for four of the seven lectures (α = 0.05). Post-lecture and post-series satisfaction surveys were also administered to gauge participant satisfaction. These results indicate that genetic counseling students and program directors felt that this was a positive learning experience.

This project is of public health significance due to the increasing demand for and availability of genetic testing, which is often facilitated by a genetic counselor. In order to meet the needs of a growing patient population with an increasing array of genetic testing options, it is important that genetic counseling students have specialized training in the laboratory applications of the profession prior to entering into the field.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Walsh, Leslie Kathleenlesliekwalsh@gmail.comLKW16
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDurst,
Committee MemberGrubs,
Committee MemberFelter,
Date: 30 August 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 12 June 2017
Approval Date: 30 August 2017
Submission Date: 5 June 2017
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 140
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Human Genetics
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: genetic counseling, online learning
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 21:43
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2022 05:15


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