Microbiology is the study of tiny organisms that affect the human body. The subject is essential for nursing students as it highlights the behaviors of microscopic organisms that can negatively impact the lives of human beings. While nursing majorly dwells on caring for patients and other advanced studies going to medical students, microbiology can impart to nurses knowledge about microorganisms’ behaviors, including how to use this knowledge for the betterment of health services.
Nurses do not study microbiology in the way other professionals do, since they primarily focus on the effects of the tiny organisms on the behavior of patients in terms of diagnosis, treatment, and sometimes care. Nursing as a practice involves taking care of patients by providing them with the recommendations made by a doctor after an extensive examination; microbiology helps nurses understand personal hygiene, which extends to the community. When applied in nursing, the fundamentals of microbiology can help the whole community and the patients. In addition, microbiology helps keep health centers sterile for complex medical operations such as surgeries.
How does a nursing student benefit from microbiology studies?
Nurses must know six main areas when practicing. That is, they must carry knowledge in the following hospital units.
- Burn units
- Obstetric unit
- Intensive care services
- Operation theaters
- Communicable diseases wards
The mentioned hospital units all require an understanding of microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. For instance, when contaminated, theaters can put the life of a patient under surgery at risk. Additionally, any nurse dealing with patients who present symptoms of infectious diseases needs to know how to handle them to prevent cross-infection within the hospital.
a. Intensive care nurseries
Intensive care areas have many types of equipment where bacteria and viruses can multiply. Items such as gastrostomy feeds require the help of nurses to prevent contamination with a virus that poses dangers to patients and other people in hospitals. Sterilizing that environment is the branch that nurses must understand to have a suitable environment for critical care patients.
b. Burn Units
Burns refers to typical wounds people get after contact with a hot object or fire. Units in the hospital that deal with burn patients require top levels of hygiene. Whenever burn patients reach a medical center, they often need fast action from nurses to cover their wounds. Such measures prevent infections from bacteria that can lead to deadly results.
c. Obstetric Units
During childbirth, mothers encounter many microbes, which can pose a risk to their existence. Women who also have an abortion can have their wounds infected in the process, putting them at risk. Postnatal infections and puerperal infections are reasons for a significant number of deaths. However, a nurse with a microbiological understanding can change the situation for many mothers out there.
The C.S.S.U. refers to units that help control the movement of bacteria and microbes to other areas. Nurses need microbiology to help improve the situation in such departments and others that deal with sanitization.
e. Operation Theaters
Any microbes present during surgery can pose many dangers for the patients and those carrying out the operation. Nurses help keep the theatre sterile by using their microbiology knowledge. Theaters consist of two areas, the environment, and instruments used for surgeries. Therefore, any nurse must understand the type of microbes on every surface and use the right material to make the environment suitable for surgery.
f. Communicable disease wards
Infectious diseases are those that can quickly move from one person to the other. Nurses must ensure that the disorders remain constrained to the contagious disease wards to prevent other critically ill patients from contracting potentially life-threatening infectious diseases. However, the only way to achieve this is for the nurses to know about microbes and use them to prevent an outbreak. Each disease has a unique microbe that causes it, which means that knowledge in microbiology can help prevent a wide range of issues.
Microbiology knowledge helps nurses in many ways, from saving mothers and women having abortions to sterilizing areas that house critically ill patients. Therefore, this knowledge is essential for any nursing student who wants to make the best nurse during the actual practice. Lecturio for registered nurses program has the best learning tools to make your dream of becoming a nurse be realized.
References and Sources
- https://www.nursingschoolhub.com/what-is-infectious-disease-nursing/ – 2%
- https://www.quora.com/Why-is-microbiology-important-in-nursing – 1%
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15002832/ – 1%