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Study Guide for Chapter 10

Types of Microorganisms & Characteristics

Bacteria-single-celled microorganisms. Appear in various shapes: round (cocci), rod shaped (bacilli) and spiral (spirochetes). Viruses-smallest microorganisms are filterable, do not require genetic information to reproduce but require reproductive materials from other species. Fungi-Yeasts and Mold. Rickettsiae-Resemble bacteria, but cannot survive outside another living species like virsues. Bugs like fleas, ticks, lice, or mites transmits this diseases. Protozoans-single-celled animals classified according to thie ability to move. Mycoplasmas-lack a cell wall, are pleomorphic, infect surface linings of respiratory tracts. Helminths-infectious worms. Prions-a protein containing no nucleic acid. Can mutate other proteins in body, causing TSE (brain becomes spongy, holes in the brain)

Survivial of Microorganisms

To protect themselves microorganisms can produce Spores-a temporarily inactive microbial life form that can resist heat and destructive chemicals and survive without moisture. They also can produce Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Strains-such strains no longer respond to drugs that once were effective against them

Chain of Infection

Sequence that enables the spread of disease-producing microorganisms. 6 things must be in place for them to spread 1. An infectious agent 2. A reservior for growth and reproduction 3. An exit route fromk the reservoir 4. A mode of transmission 5. A port of entry 6. A susceptible host


Microorgansims that cause illness

Normal Flora (Non-Pathogens)

Harmless, beneficial microorganisms

Causes of Antibiotic Drug Resistance

Prescribing antibiotics for minor infections, prescribing antibiotics for prevention with no infection present, failing to take the full course of antibiotic therapy, adminstering antibiotics to livestocktaking someone else's antibiotical medication, spreading pathogens via unwashed or poorly washed hands

Methods of Transmission

How infectious microorgansims move to another location. They can be transmitted by five routes: Contact, droplet, airborne, vehicle, and vector

Factors affecting susceptibility to infections

Poor hygiene practices, inadequate nutrition, prematurity, chronic illeness, suppressed immune system, insufficient white blood cells, weakened cough reflex, diminished blood circulation, compromised skin integrity

Nosocomial Infections

Infections acquired while a person is receiving care in a health care agency


Those practices that decrease or eliminate infectious agents, their reservoirs, and vehicles for transmission

Principles of Medical Asepsis (clean technique)

1.Microorganisms exist everywhere except on sterilized equipment, 2. Frequent handwashing and maintaining intact skin are the best methods for reducing the transmission of microorganisms, 3. Blood, body fluids, cells, and tissues are considered major reservoirs of microorganisms, 4. Personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, goggles, and hair and shoe covers serves as a barrier to microbial transmission, 5. A clean enviornment reduces microorganisms, 6. Certain areas-the floor, toilets, and inside of sinks-are more contaminated than others. Cleaning should be done from cleaner to dirtier areas.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Include things such as Uniforms, Scrub Suits and Gowns, Masks, Gloves, Hair and Shoe Covers, and Protective Eyewear

Handwashing Antisepsis

Involves scrubbing the nads with soap and water. Wash when 1. Hands are visibly dirty 2. When hands are contaminated with proteinaceous materials, 3. When hands are visibly soiled with blood or other body fluids, 4. Before eating and after using a restroom, 5. If exposure to Bacillus anthracis is suspected or proven.

Hand Antisepsis

Involves removal and destruction of microorganisms without soap and water. Use when 1. Before having direct contact with clients, 2. After contact with a client's intact skin e.g. lifting a client, when taking a pulse or blood pressure, 3. Before donning sterile gloves to insert invasive devices such as urinary catheters, and other devices that do not require a surgicial procedure, 4. After contact with body fluids or excretions, 5. If moving from a contaminated body site to a clean body site during client care, 6. After taking gloves off

Susceptible Host

Is one whose biologic defense mechanisms are weakened in some way

Opportunistic Infections

Infectious disorders among people with compromised health

Principles of Surgical Asepsis

1. They preserve sterility by touching one sterile item with another that is sterile, 2. Once a sterile item touches something that is not, it is considered contaminated, 3. Any partially unwrapped sterile package is considered contaminated, 4. If there is a question about the sterility of an item, it is considered contaminated, 5. The longer the time since sterilization, the more likely it is that the item is no longer sterile, 6. The outer 1-inch margin of a sterile area is considered a zone of contamination. 7. Sterile items located or lowered below waist level are considered contaminated, 8. Coughing, sneezing, or excessive talking over sterile equipment causes contamination, 9. Reaching across an area that contains sterile equipment causes contamination

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