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Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT): An Introduction for Healthcare Professionals

Get broad insight into the key issues surrounding Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing with this course for healthcare professionals.

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Learn about the history, limitations, and ethical considerations of NIPT

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is a timely issue in the UK. Already available within the private healthcare system, this maternal blood test is set to be offered by England’s National Health Service this year (NHS)

On this course, healthcare professionals will be introduced to the development, technology, along with ethical and legal considerations of NIPT. You will consider how and when to discuss NIPT with patients and the importance of patient choice. You will reflect on current NIPT practices, your personal experiences in the healthcare system, and improvements for the future.

What topics will you cover?

  • Overview of genetics: The fundamentals that underpin genomics
  • NIPT: The discovery of fetal cell free DNA
  • Developments of the scientific technology behind NIPT
  • Clinical implementation and limitations of NIPT
  • Information provision, communication and individualised choice
  • Social and ethical implications of screening
  • Current concerns and future developments of NIPT

Who is this accredited by?

The Royal College of Midwives
The Royal College of Midwives:

This course has been accredited by The Royal College of Midwives.

When would you like to start?

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe cell division and how it can lead to Patau’s, Edwards’ and Down’s syndrome
  • Apply basic genetic knowledge to understand NIPT screening in pregnancy
  • Describe the different technologies currently available for NIPT
  • Describe how an NIPT trisomy risk is calculated
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the current NHS screening pathways in the UK
  • Discuss the limitations of NIPT testing, and where NIPT may not be an appropriate screening choice
  • Explain the potential causes of a false positive, false negative and a no-call result
  • Discuss importance of informed choice, and what can influence decision making
  • Explore the challenges of language, terminology and communication in the healthcare setting
  • Debate the social and ethical implications that are presented by availability of NIPT
  • Reflect on the potential risks and benefits of future developments for NIPT

Who is the course for?

This course is for midwives, sonographers, and obstetricians. It is also ideal for GPs and genetic counsellors. Although the course will assume knowledge of healthcare at some point, the course might also be of interest to people considering NIPT.

Healthcare professionals might find the the Certificate of Achievement for this course useful for providing evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), or commitment to their career. You will need to upgrade on this course to receive a Certificate of Achievement when you are eligible.

Who developed the course?

St George's, University of London

St George’s is the UK’s only university dedicated to medical and health sciences education, training and research.

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