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Importance And Relevance Of Microbiology To Nursing


Nurses are an indispensable workforce supporting the healthcare sector and offering safe patient care. They are healers who are always in demand. The labor statistics project that the demand for nurses will continue to rise in the future. The primary reason for this demand is a shortage of skilled nurses. This scenario offers interested aspirants the motivation to pursue a nursing program and clear the exams.

In a nursing program and the regular clinical rotations, a nurse comes across many situations that require them to know about microbial infections that have to be avoided in a clinical setting. To practice safe standards in patient care nursing programs students can use study aids and enroll in a microbiology course online

Role of microbiology in healthcare facilities

Nurses work in clinics, hospitals, and home care set-ups and interact directly with patients. Often diseases that a patient has is caused because of an etiological agent. The precarious nature of their work can be handled only if nurses are aware of controlling the spread of infection. With the knowledge of microbiology, a nurse can keep themself and their patients safe and provide higher standards of care. 

Unless a nurse knows about microbial action and related microbiology lessons associated with it, differentiating between disease-causing triggers is not easy. A nurse needs to follow the process in which samples are collected without contaminating the specimen or passing the infectious germs to other surface areas. Good sanitization practices and the safe use of hand gloves will be part of a nurse’s workflow. 

Nurses are taught to use sterile equipment while interacting with patients and play a crucial role in immunization to control diseases in hospitals. It is the primary duty of an OT nurse to keep the operation theater free of microorganisms. They are taught about the effects of microorganisms and need to use sterilized equipment in their course of work. 

How do nurses use microbiology lessons in clinical rotations?

Microbiology is the science that imparts the study of microbes such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc. It is a vital subject in healthcare studies like nursing programs. Nurses just like doctors and other healthcare staff are vulnerable to exposure to infectious disease-causing microbes that cannot be seen by the naked eye. 

A nurse needs to not just take care of the patients but also keep themself and their surroundings clean and sterile. Washing hands regularly, cleaning the surfaces after spraying with disinfectant, and using isopropyl sanitizer becomes a part of a nurse’s routine. 

Studying microbiology becomes inevitable for caregivers and nursing aspirants who need to give the subject enough weightage in their study plans to do well in their respective careers.

Here are some regular processes nurses follow where their understanding of microbiology comes in handy for them:

  • Contain infection 

The disease-causing germs of bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses are communicable by touch and few are air and water-borne. By studying microbiology, nurses understand the different methods by which infections can spread. Nurses are trained to contain infections that spread through contact, air, contaminated food and beverages, sexual contact, insect bites, and plant-based allergies. 

  • Sterile spaces

Nurses trained in their programs to keep all the surface areas in use and equipment sterile and safely dispose of biomedical waste. Regularly used equipment like trays, tables, bottles, syringes, medical bandages, cotton, and other first-aid material are maintained in sterile conditions and carefully discarded by a nurse as per the training imparted. The microbiology lessons help nurses in the deliverance of important tasks like maintaining sterile clinical spaces for maintaining safety.

  • Sample collection

Nurses help pathologists by collecting the sample by following the recommended protocol. Their programs train them to collect specimens for microbe and immunohistochemistry tests. To get reliable results specimen collection, storage and transport have to be done at the right temperature and all the precautions have to be practiced. 

As nurses are familiar with the numerous infections and the mode of contamination, they take all the necessary steps to avoid an episode. 

  • Maintain immunization schedule

Nurses are responsible to follow the immunization calendar for patients and healthcare staff within the hospital. Hospital staff is the most vulnerable population that will be exposed to different infections. It is necessary to protect them from periodical vaccinations. Nurses maintain the vaccine schedules. They understand how vaccines have to be safely transported through cold storage and know how to administer them to other hospital staff. 

  • Implement asepsis

A nurse understands the action of microbes and regards the importance of sterile spaces because of awareness. Asepsis is implemented to contain the spread of any microbial infection that enters and leaves the body. A core understanding of microbiology helps nurses understand the action and methods of microorganisms. They offer safe patient care to those who already have weak immune systems. They use safe practices in their workplace and specialization areas such as burn units, operation theaters, and neonatal care. 


Hospitals and clinics are places that need to be sterile spaces. However, with high patient footfall, it is a challenge to maintain the appropriate conditions and practice safety in public places to avoid the spread of infection. After the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, governments have spread awareness for public health and safety to help contain the spread of the viral infection.

Although the rising patient population, insufficient infrastructure, and progressing healthcare costs are burgeoning problems, nurses have been patiently combating these issues while maintaining sterile conditions, using safe methods to collect samples, and practicing safe patient care methods. They can deliver these objectives only because of their understanding of microbiology lessons and training that is imparted in the nursing programs. Microbiology widens the perspective of nursing students and establishes the need to sanitize surface areas and hands while wearing a mask. They are aware of the numerous ways in which a particular infection is contracted and spread. Pathologists can diagnose the results obtained from collected samples only when the cold chain and other required conditions have been met.

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