Why is microbiology important in nursing?

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    Microbiology is a very important topic for nurses to study. This is because our infectious diseases are caused by microbes. This was discovered in the late nineteenth century and is defined in the “Germ Theory of Disease”. In a few cases, even cancer is associated with particular infectious microbes and viruses (liver carcinoma, stomach cancer and Burkitts Lymphoma).

    Learning about microbiology will help a nurse prevent transfer of germs from one patient to another, prevent germ transfer to oneself and even prevent germ transfer from inanimate objects. The nurse will learn to appreciate the differences between pathogenic microbes and nonpathogenic microbes that play important roles in the environment. The nursing student will even learn how the immune system can resist less pathogenic microbes but require prior exposure (vaccines) in order to resist more pathogenic varieties.

    I believe most nurses feel grateful for their knowledge about and their disease causing mechanisms.

    Nurses treat patients with infections. Infections are caused by both microbes and by macroscopic pathogens. Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms. It explains how these organisms grow, reproduce, and function. Having an understanding of these concepts helps nurses treat and prevent infection in the patients for whom they care. This knowledge informs nursing practices such as practicing wound care, managing isolation precautions, administering medication with sterile technique, creating and maintaining sterile operating fields, and disinfecting self and patient. If the nurse decides to further pursue a career as a nurse practitioner, microbiology will be essential in diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease.

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    Most nurses take care of sick people, or will at some point in their career. Diseases are caused by microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria. In order to effectively care for sick people and to prevent healthy people from becoming sick, nurses need an understanding of infectious diseases, including routes of transmission, the body’s immune response, medications used to treat them, and ways to prevent the spread of pathogenic microorganisms. There are also beneficial microorganisms, such as bacteria that live in the gut and in the vagina, that contribute to our ongoing health. Even if your job is to review insurance claims, you will need a working knowledge of how microorganisms affect human health.

    The major point I got from my micro class: wash your hands. Frequently and thoroughly.

    Beyond that, I’d classify it as interesting stuff. You learned how easy it was for things to get contaminated. You learned the names of various bugs so that you could sound intelligent when discussing them. Even more interesting, you learned how they determined sensitivities to antibiotics.

    But as far as what did I use on an everyday basis as a bedside nurse in acute care? Wash your hands. And when somebody tells you you need to wear a mask, listen to them.


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    I’m going to answer this using the assumption that you meant nurses. I was introduced to microbiology when I was a freshman at university as a declared nursing major. The fundamental of microbiology that you take as a prerequisite for nursing school adressed basic and pathogenic microbes and how they are transmitted and the common presentations so that you can accurately assess your patient. You also learn all of the isolation protocols and the reasoning behind their effectiveness.


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    It is important in order to understand what could be making your Patient sick.

    Especially with all the drug resistant infections that have developed, such as, MRSA, Methacillin Resistant Staph Aureas.

    In microbiology, you will learn how diseases are spread, how to prevent infections, and will understand laboratory results.


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    Microbiology teaches you about the disease process so by definition super important to know in nursing. For example if someone has a virus you cannot treat them with antibiotics (the flu for example is a virus) you going to learn stuff like that. a lot of it may not pertain to nursing per se, but it will give you an understanding of why a patient is being treated a certain way i e antibiotics for bacterial infection.. how certain germs grow.. how these germs and infections are passed Weatherby Airborne, particulate, contact,,, certain precautions that your patients are going to be on depending on what their infection is. Also teaching is a big part of a patients discharge.. an understanding of what people need to avoid when teaching a person that’s leaving the hospital who has been infected because they were inhaling mold let’s say.. you’re going to learn that mold grows in dark damp places so that they need to fix whatever leaks are in their house especially in the basement.. quite possibly they have their laundry down there. their washer and their dryer, so they spend time in their dark damp basement. that needs to be brought to their attention. someone has to come in and fix it and make sure that there are no dark damp places that are dripping with some fall of of water.. if that makes any sense. (I don’t know I’m tired I just got off of a 12-hour shift) but microbiology in my opinion is fascinating. However a lot of people don’t subscribe to that same thought. Take it during the summer that way you can get away with not having to do as much work. So micro in microbiology doesn’t mean small it means like microbe. Like TB.. people freak out about TB right because it’s super super dangerous to have and it kills your immune system so if you’re already immunocompromised it’ll literally be the end of you.. I’m in NYC so ppl worry abt riding on a subway next to somebody that has TB.. It is not going to make you susceptible to getting TB. You have to live in a close quarters with the person that has TB over an extended period of time basically. Person comes into the ER with TB they’re going to be put in isolation with reverse flow the air is controlled so it doesn’t come back into the non isolation parts of the ER or other wings of the hospital. So people might come in and think that they have TB because they’re coughing up some blood or whatever so you would need to know how one would contract said disease so you can ask the right questions to do a proper assessment and to make sure that you protect yourself when assessing this patient you’re going to need to put on protective gear if you think they even might have TB …so pay attention.

    I hope this helps. might be a little lengthy and wordy but like I said I’m tired and I’m doing talk-to-text so that doesn’t help hahaha

    good luck in school! give it all you got cuz it’s a mother fucker but it’s worth it!!

    You cannot learn about disease process, transmission, whether viral, bacterial, fungal or several other types of microorganisms, if you did not take microbiology. This is the basis of all disease process. For example, antibiotics may help a bacterial infection, and cannot do a thing if the disease organism happens to be a virus. There are anti- viral meds, anti-fungal meds, antibacterial meds. Just to simplify and shorten

    You have probable heard, that over prescribing of antibiocs, has led to MANY strains of bacterial infections, turning into “super bugs”, not allowing the antibiotics to do their job…not allowing the bacterial infection. This will continue to happen, until people are not insisting on getting antibiots , when a viral infection.

    Nursing is a profession. It is important to learn the foundations (chemistry, biology, math, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, etc) of the profession. Microbiology teaches you the basics regarding bacteria, virology, and other microorganisms that cause many diseases and infection that your patients may encounter. In addition, when you want to advanced your degree, you will need a general foundation of knowledge to build on.


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    Microbiology is the study of microorganisms; that which can’t be seen with the naked eye. The human body is effected all of the time by microbes; there are healthy microbes that are in our body that help protect us, and microbes that can effect us in negative ways.

    The study of Microbiology will take you into that world; you’ll learn how bacteria and human cells are different, and connect that concept with how pharmacology can effect bacteria without doing harm to the patients cells.

    you’ll learn to identify different pathogens by how they grow in certain environments; that will help you pinpoint when a patient comes into the ER with complaints, and you suspect a certain bacteria is the cause of their complaint.

    For instance; E. col (Escherichia coli) is a bacteria which is normally found in our intestines, and helps with the absorption of Vitamin K and other nutrients, and in turn, we humans provide a nutrient rich environment for it to thrive in. Now, say a patient has surgery, and somehow that E. coli was transplanted somewhere else in the body; it would then be toxic to the body because it doesn’t belong in that area. So, the patient will have symptoms. You would expect the doctor to order a broad spectrum (works on many types of bacteria) antibiotic, while simultaneously running tests to pinpoint WHAT specific bacteria is causing problems, so the doctor can order a specific antibiotic that is tailored to destroy that bacteria.

    you’ll learn the different between bacteria and viruses, and why medications won’t work on a virus; how they’re spread, etc.

    Microbiology is an essential part of your nursing studies.

    Bacteria fall under “microbiology”. Not understanding gram negative vs positive impairs your ability to verify the correct med is being applied.

    Nursing is not “following orders”. Nursing is understanding orders and agreeing with them every time you sign your name to a medicine.

    Microbiology helps you understand and get familiar with staphylococcus aureus like names without sounding inexperienced (and you will need to say them out loud sometimes) and helps you understand the “why” of a treatment. If you only follow orders and give the incorrect med or provide the wrong treatment, you only hurt the patient, prolong their suffering and risk your career.

    Let family and patients “”just follow orders”; but as a nurse, understanding is a must. A nurse cannot agree to a procedure or treatment they do not understand. Microbiology is only one topic a nurse must understand to be a capable as a nurse.

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