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Nurses Assist Researchers in Tracking Microbe Movement

August 2, 2017 Health Information 0

Microbes may be invisible to the human eye, but they are everywhere. A new study by the University of Chicago tried to track the movement of microbes. Nurses played key roles in the study conducted at the Center for Care and Discovery in the university.

This research is unique because unlike other studies, it focused on the spread of microbes in the community, not on the individual. The Center for Care and Discovery is the perfect venue for the study since it is a new building, allowing researchers to control the environment so the effect of external factors can be kept at a minimum.

Data Collection

The study lasted for 10 months after the facility opened, but researchers have been at form two months before the building opened. They collected microbe samples from various the Centers’ surfaces, the air, and water.

The nursing staff played a crucial role in the research since researchers took samples from the nurse station regularly. They also collected samples from the skin of the hospital’s staff nurses so they can track bacterial movement and how this affected patients.

In the span of 12 months, researchers had to collect more than 10,000 samples from surfaces, the hospital environment, nurses, and more than 252 patients. Out of these, the study revealed Germ DNA was detected in 6,523 samples.

Microbe Movement in Hospitals

Studies revealed bacteria inside hospital rooms are mostly from the nursing staff right after it is sanitized. However, once the room has an occupant, the patient’s microbiome took over the hospital room after 24 hours.

Oral or intravenous antibiotic had no impact on the microbiome of the patient’s skin. However, findings revealed topical antibiotic can wipe bacteria.

Microbes responsible for pneumonia, diphtheria, and harmful diseases were detected on the surface of the nurse station. Even after being disinfected, a high level of bacteria remained on the bedrails in the hospital rooms.

The study also revealed only 20 of the patients who took part in the study possible hospital-acquired infection. However, a closer look at the patient data revealed it’s possible that the bacteria were already present in the patient’s body before checking in to the hospital. The symptoms just manifested during their stay.

Why Microbe Studies Matter

This study shows disinfecting hospital rooms should not be the sole focus of the medical team. They should also look into giving patients probiotics before their hospital stay to reduce the likelihood of contracting a hospital-acquired infection.

The study also provides insight on antibiotic resistance and treating bacterial infection in hospitals. The Hospital Microbe Project could play a crucial role in further studies about microbe colonization. This can be a useful resource for preventing the spread of diseases in various settings. This can also help professionals administer treatment.

Nurses will continue to play a vital role in microbiome research and in implementing new guidelines to reduce the risk of contracting diseases in various settings. Pursuing higher education in nursing is not just an impressive career move but also a crucial role in helping patients get the best treatment. Even with a busy schedule, you can plan your coursework to suit your availability by enrolling in an online BSN to DNP program at Maryville University.