Prerequisites for Allied Health Microbiology

K N and P J Harris ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk
Sat Nov 16 06:04:41 EST 1996

> ==========
> bionet/microbiology #4271, from mdemers at sunstroke.sdsu.edu, 1758 
chars, Thu  07 Nov 1996 16:53:29 -0
> ----------
> Article: 5272 of bionet.microbiology
> Xref: cix.compulink.co.uk sci.bio.microbiology:3879 
> Path: 
> From: Marlene DeMers <mdemers at sunstroke.sdsu.edu>
> Newsgroups: sci.bio.microbiology,bionet.microbiology
> Subject: Prerequisites for Allied Health Microbiology
> Date: Thu, 07 Nov 1996 16:53:29 -0800
> Organization: San Diego State University
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> Hi,
> I recently sent a question concerning suggestions for teaching 
> non-majors Microbiology to these newgroups.  But, I really 
> would appreciate information from any of you on the following 
> question.
> What prerequisites should be required or are being required 
> for  Microbiology courses that are for pre nursing, food and 
> nutrition, pre physcian assistants, physical therapist,and 
> community health majors?  
> Should they be required to take general and organic chemistry 
> with labs as well as an introductory Biology class?  
> In other words should we allow Freshmen into this course that 
> includes a laboratory, expecting them to handle possible 
> disease causing organisms, and work with chemicals, fluids, 
> pipettes etc. without some previous exposure and background?
> Could some one tell me what prerequisites you require, if any, 
> in a similar course (for non-majors) that you might teach or 
> be familiar with?
> Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.
> Sincerely,
> Marlene
Hi Marlene,
This is quite a tough one. Even in my situation (UK) where I can expect 
all freshmen to have SOME laboratory exposure, although even that is 
declining, the demands of microbiology are still very different. A 
chemist looks at liquid transfer in quite a different way.Even just 
handling tubes, caps, flasks, pipettes etc can be daunting to begin 
with. Maybe a non-culture "dry run" would be a good idea.Aseptic 
technique is difficult for beginners and our approach is to go through 
the requirements VERY slowly and demonstrate everything that is to be 
done, slowly, in front of small groups of students. It can be made a bit 
like a party game (you must do everything I do exactly as I do it). When 
that is done we keep a VERY close watch as they make their first 
attempts and come down very hard on anyone that is working in a sloppy 
manner. usually requiring them to start the whole operation again from 
scratch.This is the only way of ensuring that proper technique is taken 
seriously enough.
Peter Harris,
Reading Univ. UK.

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