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The Importance of Understanding Microbiology in Healthcare

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

By Ali Richardson, Staff Writer

Hardin-Simmons University offers two microbiology classes: public health microbiology and general microbiology. The world we live in is full of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that make up microbiology studies.

Madison Hall, a sophomore nursing major, took public health microbiology her freshman year and is still involved in the class as a teaching assistant and tutor.

“Microbiology is the study that allows us to understand and treat diseases. It’s important because it enables us to know the pathology, virulence and any other key factors. I took microbiology my freshman year at Hardin-Simmons. We learned a wide variety of things from the basics of what it was, precautions that are necessary, to many specific diseases and/or viruses along with their causative agent, treatments, preventatives and etc.,” Hall said.

While it is a serious class, there are some odd facts related to the course content that might stick in one’s brain. “One thing I joke most about remembering is when talking about Hansen’s diseases or leprosy. We learned that you can contract it from armadillos who carry the gene for it,” Hall said.

“That along with all of the other information we processed, is a crucial aspect to have under your belt, especially for someone like me, who is going into the nursing field and I need to be aware of all the possible dangers and how to beat, protect and/or treat myself and the patients,” Hall said.

Hall has continued to be a part of the microbiology courses in a different way now. She is the teaching assistant for general microbiology lab, and the tutor for public health microbiology.

“While it can be a little scary at times just knowing what I do, handling the bacteria, I do enjoy microbiology and it’s great to still be involved because it has allowed me the opportunity to continue to learn more while bettering myself for the future,” Hall said.

Leah Constance, a sophomore nursing major, took microbiology last semester and found it quite helpful as she continues to study nursing.

“Microbiology is important to healthcare because it teaches us the importance of recognizing health and understanding the types of things we come into contact with that so many people are unaware of. It is so important to have an understanding of our body and how it’s affected by different microorganisms and infections. Possibly even being ignored and viewed as an easy fix but microbiology taught me the importance of self-care and knowing what microbes and bacteria that we can be encountered by on a daily basis,” Constance said

“My biggest takeaway from microbiology was the action of being aware. Before the class, I knew what bacteria and viruses were but didn’t know the affect they had on the body. The class taught me to be aware in the ways of being able to not only understand, but also able to make a change in how I keep myself healthy and look out for others in the process of learning about reactions to our body,” Constance said.

Microbiology has prepared Constance for things she did not originally expect to encounter and what to do if she encounters it.

“I feel like I will have a better understanding of nursing because this class prepared me on how to identify different illnesses and diseases that have different effects on the body. Learning how sickness affects the body is important so one can recover in the correct and best possible way. Not only did I learn something for myself and career, but it also helps think about the future of your patients and utilize your knowledge on how best to treat them,” Constance said.

“Germs are everywhere and it’s important to make sure one is aware of that so healthcare and the ways to prevent infection can be taken seriously,” Constance said.


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