The alarming growth of human being genome has led to the development of various approaches to health development, maintenance, and treatment. Moreover, this has significantly contributed to the development of the new gene-based technologies for examining, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of rare and common diseases. Nurses are highly involved in the growth of genetic based and genomic-based practices such as gathering family background information. Genetics and Genomics have, therefore, gained a lot of support in the nursing profession. The reason behind this, is to implement evidence-based practices in the health care. Among the areas influenced by these developments is gastroenterology. Gastroenterology is defined as a medical specialty that deals with the function and complications of the stomach intestines and interrelated organs of the gastrointestinal tract.
The changes in the genomic technology have had a tremendous impact on gastrointestinal disorders. For example, there has been a significant advancement in the clarification of the pathophysiology and etiology of the disease associated with the stomach and the intestinal tract (Marcuzziet al., 2013). New experimental therapies to deal with specific steps in diseases relevant control and management have been developed. Good examples include the development of gastric proton pump used in peptic ulcers problem and antitumor necrosis factor therapy used in the management of Crohn’s diseases and rheumatoid disease. These are considered great enhancements in the management of gastrointestinal diseases. All this has been achieved as a result of technological advancements in such areas as cell biology, biochemistry and microbiology and its connections to disorder related with the gastrointestinal tract (Marcuzzi,et al.,2013). In spite of the huge changes and deeper understanding of the gastrointestinal pathophysiology and improved treatments resulting from the methodological approaches, Gastroenterology as a field faces a lot of challenges. As a result, there is a need for more research and innovations to come up with new ways to manage gastrointestinal diseases.
Nursing as a field is realizing and acknowledging genetic and genome findings. According to the current findings, it is evident that health care workforce have inadequate knowledge and competency (Chappell et al., 2014). This, therefore, acts as a hindrance to the ability to connect the technology and information more efficiently and effectively into practice. The inadequate knowledge and experience in genetics results to a reduction in access to safe, quality and cheap and personalized health care services. As a gastroenterologist, it is vital to understand and have good knowledge of the human genome. The knowledge of genetics, genomics and pharmacogenomics is increasing dramatically since the three areas are critical while dealing with patients who are in need of critical care such as gastrointestinal diseases (Schreiber et al.,2000).Genetics clearly defines and brings out the connection between gastrointestinal diseases and the gene abnormality resulting from mutation. Genomic focuses on how the mutated gene integrates with other genes in a human body. Pharmacogenomics is integrated into the system in case pain is experienced (Delpu et.al 2011).Therefore, as a nurse acts as both an advocate and educator, he or she should inform the clients on the science applied to the treatment process. A nurse shows his or her genetic and genome competency by creating awareness and educating the clients and their caregivers.
The fact that genes or a given genetic difference has a role to play in altering the risk of known diseases such gastrointestinal diseases, genetics and genome has a significant influence on the nurse judgment. For instance, family history can be a good source of information on an individual at risk of gastrointestinal complication such as colon cancers. E.g., it is estimated that an average lifetime of a person under risk of developing colon cancer in United States is 5%. To reach into a valid conclusion and judgment, there are algorithms to help in assessing and reducing personal risk (Delpu et al. 2011). In case the results show that the risks have increased by maybe 10%, the appropriate measure ought to be taken. After this, a thorough check for any symptoms of colon cancer should be carried out. What follows is taking the best measures or actions to prevent the development of cancer. Nonetheless, early diagnosis can be initiated and monitored.
Gastroenterology nurses are part and parcel of the group involving physicians, genetic counselors and social workers. For this reason, since the nurse is part of the group, they have a responsibility of educating and communicating gastrointestinal complication risks. In addition, there is also a need to make up a followup for genetic testing, offer counseling and promote precautionary services within the society. Nurses should adhere to code of ethics such as confidentiality. In this regard, it is the duty of the nurse to manage genetic information of the patient and ensure that informed consent is acquired before its use (Chappell et.al, 2014). Nurses, therefore play a critical role in issues regarding ethical, legal and social implication of any genetic information retrieved from a patient. It is the responsibility and duty of nurses to protect such information from getting into wrong hands. If this is assured, then the patients will not have any shame, fear or mistrust on issues related to genetic testing and care.
Based on the above discussion, it is evident that genetics and genome has dramatically grown and developed as a result of technological advancement. These advancements have had significant impact on management of gastrointestinal disorders. The knowledge of genetic and genome is very important to quality and safe care for patients. The key issues regarding control of patient genetic information include knowledge of informed consent, health growth and development in terms of technology and personal care.
- Marcuzzi, A., Bianco, A. M., Girardelli, M., Tommasini, A., Martelossi, S., Monasta, L., &Crovella, S. (January 01, 2013). Genetic and functional profiling of Crohn’s disease: autophagy mechanism and susceptibility to infectious diseases.Biomed Research International, 2013.
- Chappell, G., Kutanzi, K., Uehara, T., Tryndyak, V., Hong, H.-H., Hoenerhoff, M., Beland, F. A., …Pogribny, I. P. (June 15, 2014). Genetic and epigenetic changes in fibrosis-associated hepatocarcinogenesis in mice.International Journal of Cancer, 134, 12, 2778-2788.
- Delpu, Y., Hanoun, N., Lulka, H., Sicard, F., Selves, J., Buscail, L., Torrisani, J., … Cordelier, P. (January 01, 2011). Genetic and epigenetic alterations in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Current Genomics, 12, 1, 15-24.
- Schreiber, S., Hampe, J., Eickhoff, H., &Lehrach, H. (January 01, 2000). Functional genomics in gastroenterology. Gut, 47, 5, 601-7.