Genetic Counselor I

County of Santa Clara
Full Time, Part Time $116,987 - $141,618 Per year CA 751 S Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA 95128, United States Apply before 5/23/2024 11:59


Under direct supervision, to be trained to counsel, educate, and inform individuals and families at risk for inherited genetic disorders and birth defects about the medical, scientific, and psychological resources available to them; to promote an understanding of birth disorders so that individuals and families can adapt to the risk or condition and make informed choices. 

Typical Tasks

The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

  • Establishes a mutually agreed upon genetic counseling agenda with the patient and their family;
  • Elicits and obtains family history and medical information, including pregnancy development;
  • Assists in providing professional psychosocial genetic counseling to individuals regarding hereditary conditions posing potential risks to their children;
  • Recommends medical or genetic testing to individuals/families at risk for genetic diseases or birth defects;
  • Educates and explains technical and medical aspects of diagnostic and screening methods and reproductive options, including associated risks, benefits, and limitations;
  • Assists in coordinating communication between patient and multi-disciplinary medical team in the diagnosis and evaluation of birth conditions;
  • Supports in-patient and out-patient care, including at satellite clinics;
  • Assists in charting, reporting, coordinating, and categorizing clinical testing and test results that are approved by the specialty clinician;
  • Responds in a timely manner to individuals/families;
  • May be assigned as a Disaster Service Worker (DSW), as required*;
  • Performs other duties, as required.

Employment Standards

Sufficient education, training, and experience to demonstrate the ability to perform the above tasks, plus the possession and direct application of the following knowledge and abilities:

Training and Experience Note: The required knowledge and abilities are attained through possession of a Master's Degree in Genetic Counseling/Human Genetics or closely related field.

Special Requirements

  • Upon appointment, obtain temporary Genetic Counselor license issued by the California Department of Public Health, in good standing, once obtained, possess and maintain licensure, for the duration of employment in this classification.
  • Eligible for Board Certification by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Board Certification by the American Board of Genetic Counseling must be obtained within two (2) years of hire to maintain licensure as stipulated by the California Department of Public Health or vacate the position.
  • Ability to travel to alternate locations in the course of work.  If driving, possession of a valid California driver’s license prior to appointment and the ability to qualify for and maintain a County driver authorization.
  • *As a condition of employment, pursuant to California Government Code Sections 3100-3109 and Local Ordinance, all County of Santa Clara employees are designated Disaster Service Workers (DSWs), including extra help.  A DSW is required to complete all assigned DSW-related training, and in the event of an emergency, return to work as ordered.

Knowledge of:

  • Inherited disorders and detectable conditions;
  • Effective counseling technique and session structure;
  • Benefits and risks of noninvasive screening and invasive diagnostic testing;
  • Effective techniques for individual case management and collaboration with multidisciplinary health professionals to promote patient care;  
  • Relevant community agencies and available public and private support services;
  • Age-specific competencies required for effective counseling on cases involving infants, children, adolescents, adults, and geriatrics;
  • English usage, style, grammar, punctuation, and spelling;
  • Common computer systems and applications.

Ability to:

  • Obtain and interpret family medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence;
  • Identify and respond to issues and problems effectively and in a timely manner;
  • Maintain confidentiality; listen and obtain clarification to ensure that instructions/requests are fully comprehended;
  • Assist in educating individuals and families about inherited genetic disorders or birth defects and the medical testing, scientific research, clinical trials, psychological resources, and other options available;
  • Counsel patients and families to promote informed choices on the various treatment options and adaptation to the risk or birth health condition;
  • Counsel patients and families with sensitivity toward those at risk of genetic defects or birth disorders;
  • Translate complex language of genetic medicine into understandable terms;
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures;
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with those contacted in the course of work, at all levels, including colleagues, the public, and representatives of other agencies.

Special Requirements

  • Travel to and provide services at satellite clinics as required.