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Technical Standards

Technical standards for KU's master's degree program in genetic counseling.

Graduates of the genetic counseling program must have the knowledge and skills for entry into the practice of genetic counseling. As defined by the program’s accrediting body, the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling, an entry-level genetic counselor must demonstrate mastery of a broad body of genetics knowledge and develop skills in the following domains: communication skills; critical-thinking skills; interpersonal, counseling and psychosocial assessment skills; and professional ethics and values.

The following technical standards, in conjunction with the academic standards, are requirements for admission, promotion and graduation. The term “candidate” refers to candidates for admission to the program as well as current students who are candidates for retention, promotion, or graduation. The KU School of Health Professions maintains a strong commitment to equal educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities who apply for admission to the program or who are already enrolled.

The technical standards are not intended to deter any candidate for whom reasonable accommodation will allow the fulfillment of the complete curriculum. Candidates with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Academic Accommodations Office at 913-945-7035 or ada@kumc.edu early in the application process to begin a confidential conversation about what accommodations they may need to meet these standards. This process is informed by the knowledge that students with varied types of disabilities have the ability to become successful genetic counselors.


Essential Observational Requirements

  1. Observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.
  2. Observe and respond to variations in human responses to disease using visual, auditory, tactile, other sensory cues or the functional equivalent.
  3. Observe, learn from and analyze medical record content, including discernment and use of clinical and administrative data displayed within the medical record.
  4. Observe, learn from and analyze class demonstrations and experiences.

Essential Movement Requirements

  1. Perform actions requiring coordination of both gross and fine muscular movement, equilibrium.
  2. Move freely and safely about health care settings (hospitals, patient rooms, clinics, laboratory, etc.).
  3. Use a keyboard to generate, calculate, record, evaluate and transmit information.
  4. Prepare assignments, both written and on-line.

Essential Communication Requirements

  1. Communicate clearly, effectively and sensitively in English and/or with an interpreter through oral and written methods in order to communicate with other health care providers and patients of all ages.
  2. Receive information in oral form, and observe patients in order to elicit information, to describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and to perceive non-verbal communications.
  3. Read, interpret and comprehend technical and professional materials (e.g., textbooks, journal articles, handbooks, instruction manuals and patient health care records).
  4. Be able to share and to elicit information from patients, health care providers, peers and research collaborators verbally and in a recorded format.
  5. Assimilate information to prepare papers, produce reports and complete documentation for patient care and research purposes.
  6. Effectively, confidently, sensitively and confidentially communicate with patients, laboratory staff and health care providers regarding laboratory test selection, interpretation and follow-up.
  7. Deliver public presentations to large and small audiences.
  8. Take paper and computer examinations.

Essential Intellectual Requirements.

  1. Interpret information derived from auditory, visual, written or other data or their equivalent to determine appropriate patient management plans.
  2. Use reason, analysis, calculations, problem solving, critical thinking, synthesis, self- evaluation and other learning skills to acquire knowledge, comprehend and synthesize complex concepts.
  3. Independently access and interpret medical histories or files.
  4. Identify significant findings from history, physical examination and laboratory data.
  5. Provide a reasoned explanation for likely diagnoses.
  6. Recall and retain information in an efficient and timely manner.
  7. Incorporate new information from peers, teachers and the medical literature.
  8. Identify and communicate knowledge to others when indicated.
  9. Possess sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.

Essential Behavioral and Social Requirements

  1. Fully utilize their intellectual abilities.
  2. Exercise of good judgment.
  3. Promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients.
  4. Develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients.
  5. Function effectively under stress.
  6. Adapt to changing environments.
  7. Learn to function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
  8. Employ compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation.
  9. Accept criticism and respond by appropriate behavior modification.
  10. Use supervision appropriately, and act independently when indicated.
  11. Demonstrate personal and professional self-control as well as tact, sensitivity, compassion, honesty, integrity, empathy and respect.
  12. Manage the use of time and be able to systematize actions in order to complete academic, professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.
  13. Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect, act ethically and exercise appropriate judgment.
  14. Demonstrate appropriate affective behaviors and mental attitudes as to not jeopardize the emotional, physical, mental and behavioral safety of other individuals with whom there is interaction in academic and clinical residency settings.
  15. Possess the mental and emotional rigor to maintain relationships and demonstrate respect to all people, including students, faculty, patients and other health care professionals at residency settings, without showing bias or preference on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, gender expression, gender identity, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or genetic testing & screening.
  16. Adapt to professional and technical change, being flexible and creative.
  17. Use appropriate language.
  18. Work effectively in interprofessional teams.
  19. Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale and justification for one’s performance.
  20. Demonstrate attention to detail and flexibility to function in a clinical and/or research setting.
  21. Practice honesty, compassion and responsibility.
  22. Be forthright about errors or uncertainty.
  23. Provide professional services while experiencing the stresses of heavy workloads (i.e., large number of tasks to complete in a limited amount of time), task-related uncertainty (i.e., ambiguous referral indication), and a distracting environment (i.e., high noise levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli).

Ethical Standard

The candidate must demonstrate professional demeanor and behavior and must perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff and patients.

Compassion, integrity, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and educational processes.

KU School of Health Professions

University of Kansas Medical Center
Clinical Laboratory Science
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4048
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5220 • 711 TTY