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Nurses and midwives: prepare for the NHS roll-out of whole genome sequencing

Carry forward your week of action pledge to learn more about genomics and its practical applications in healthcare by joining our flexible online course

From this autumn, whole genome sequencing is to become part of routine practice in the NHS. But what is whole genome sequencing? How does it work and what does it mean for all of us?

Find out more

Starting on Monday 12th March, our free online course explores the ins and outs of this relatively new technology. Beginning with a useful recap of the fundamentals of DNA, the course goes on to look behind the closed doors of the lab at how sequencing actually works and who is involved in the process, before considering its real-life applications in healthcare. The course is a perfect starting point for anyone pledging to learn more as part of our #GenomicsConversation week of action.

Led by Dr Anneke Seller and facilitated by a team of mentors, the course has been developed specifically for healthcare professionals who have little or no involvement in genomics in their day-to-day work. It provides a useful insight into whole genome sequencing in practice – from the personalised treatment of cancer to cutting-edge ‘walking labs’ tackling Ebola and Zika.

Flexible, interactive learning

Free and flexible, the course has been designed so that you can fit it around your other commitments and learn at a pace that suits you. It is delivered across three weeks, as follows:

  • The Genome and How We Explore it
  • Sequencing the Genome
  • Whole Genome Sequencing and Healthcare

Each week entails approximately two hours of learning that can be completed at any time. Learning is through a range of articles, videos, animations and discussion forums facilitated by expert mentors in real time – meaning it’s easy to ask questions and engage with other healthcare professionals and members of the public who are taking the course alongside you.

Feedback from other nurses and other healthcare professionals who have completed the course has been very positive:

“The course has provided me a much better understanding of the possibilities that WGS offers in terms of improving healthcare provision and in particular the ability to offer/provide more targeted treatments to individuals.”

“This course has given me a useful set of introductory concepts and ideas, as well as being an outline of how practice is going to change as a result of the introduction of genomics into everyday care.”
“As nurses, we need to be comfortable with this language to enable proper patient conversations.”

For more information or to enrol, please visit the FutureLearn course page.