Need to Know

New Law Requires Licensing of Genetic Counselors in Ohio

In June 2012, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law a bill initiated by the OSUCCC – James and sponsored by Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) that requires the licensing of genetic counselors in the state of Ohio.

The bill ensures that genetic counseling is provided by qualified individuals. Formerly, Ohio had no state regulations that prevented unqualified individuals from providing genetic counseling and calling themselves genetic counselors.

Harm caused by unregulated genetic counseling in the state has included inappropriate use of genetic testing; incorrect assessment of a patient’s disease risk; and erroneous interpretation of genetic tests resulting in unnecessary medical treatment, failure to provide potentially life-saving prevention strategies or treatment, and irreversible decisions regarding childbearing and pregnancy.

The new law requires that genetic counselors in Ohio have a minimum of a master’s degree, are board certified and obtain continuing education to remain current with the rapid advances in the field.

Licensure will increase access to genetic counseling services by opening paths to credentialing and improved reimbursement.

OSUCCC – James Adopts Relationship-Based Care Model

It’s easy to talk about providing a caring, patient-centered environment, but it takes a sincere commitment by staff and leadership for a major cancer hospital to make it happen.

 A few years ago, the nursing staff at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute began a grassroots effort to systemically establish an exemplary patient-centered care environment at the hospital. Their efforts culminated in May 2012 when the cancer program adopted a Professional Practice Model that incorporates Relationship-Based Care (RBC), a theory of care that James oncology nurses felt defined the standards they work to provide and the teamwork they promote.

RBC places the patient and family at the center of patient care, while stressing that to have a truly caring and healing environment also requires caring for oneself and nurturing collaborative relationships with coworkers. The James model also stresses healthy, positive relationships with the community.

“RBC represents our beliefs as a community of nurses regarding the care of oncology patients,” says Jamie Ezekielian, RN, OCN, the RBC implementation leader. “Our rollout of RBC continues and we are grateful for the support of the cancer program, which fully embraces RBC and supports our effort to live it every day.”

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