getting sick from microbiology | allnurses

getting sick from microbiology

  1. 0 I love microbiology and am interested in taking a course this year but there is one thing that is keeping me from taking it. I am concerned about getting sick from dealing with germs in the lab. I want to know if someone has gotten sick, be it a mild disease, from the lab work or i am just over-reacting and its not a big threat.

    You can say i am kind of a germophobe but i do get ill pretty easily especially diarhea from eating a little "dirty" food while my brother, friends etc. stay totally fine from eating the same food. By dirty i mean slightly under-cooked or fast foods, food from low-quality restaurants etc.. So maybe other people in the lab would be fine while i may get sick. Just curious if after all the precautions will i still end up getting some bacteria or germs on me ?, i read about the endospores and spores that some bugs produce that are easily air-dispersed so is it possible to avoid them.

    So what do you think should i take the course or pursue something different ?. I know i love microbiology, i read a few books my friend gave me and found it very interesting until reading about the fungus spores and viruses like ebola and marburg viruses which really gave me the scare. They were interesting though but i am scared of contacting a deadly disease because of my interest of working with them.

    Sorry for the long post but i really don't want to end up regretting it, the college won't be refunding the fees once i enroll so i am thinking really hard about it and would need some advice.

    Cheers
  2. 28 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Malorymug profile page
    9
    You will not get sick from a micro class! Perhaps if you are really worried, you could take it online. My online class did have a lab but it was all animated. I had to look at different slides and make observations.

    Bigger question is if you are this worried about Micro how will you do in nursing? This is the environment where you WILL be exposed to germs.
  4. Visit  Racer15 profile page
    1
    You won't be working with Ebola or deadly diseases. You'll be working with basic bacteria, that with basic precautions, will not cause you any issues. Wear your gloves, don't touch your face, wash your hands frequently, and you will be fine.
    CLoGreenEyes likes this.
  5. Visit  mbkgen profile page
    0
    @Malorymug: I forgot to mention i am not taking micro for nursing but rather as a degree in microbiology and plan to work in either a clinical laboratory of a hospital or research work. I posted in these forums because there has been interesting discussions about micro and seeing as some of you have taken classes in micro, i thought i'd get some advice from you guys.

    I actually wanted to study for MD but i can't due to monetary issues so i am thinking of doing micro since i probably was going to become an infectious disease specialist after MD. I probably wouldn't have been such a germophobe but due to a few health issues, i am extra cautious from catching bugs. Its funny the bugs do interest me but i am scared of them too lol
  6. Visit  StayHumble11 profile page
    1
    No disrespect but those are ridiculous worries. Maybe you should consider a different major like accounting.
    twigszoo likes this.
  7. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    2
    Quote from mbkgen
    @Malorymug: I forgot to mention i am not taking micro for nursing but rather as a degree in microbiology and plan to work in either a clinical laboratory of a hospital or research work. I posted in these forums because there has been interesting discussions about micro and seeing as some of you have taken classes in micro, i thought i'd get some advice from you guys.

    I actually wanted to study for MD but i can't due to monetary issues so i am thinking of doing micro since i probably was going to become an infectious disease specialist after MD. I probably wouldn't have been such a germophobe but due to a few health issues, i am extra cautious from catching bugs. Its funny the bugs do interest me but i am scared of them too lol
    You won't catch anything from micro......but you might never lick your fingers or bite your nails again. But you do need to examine you phobia about catching things if you are going into microbioligy and research for that is where the deal with unusual diseases and cures.
    twigszoo and mbkgen like this.
  8. Visit  lauraline profile page
    1
    You won't get sick from micro. There's nothing in micro class that doesn't already exist in the world pretty much everywhere you go. If you are worried just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly. Use gloves each time. Do your laundry right after class, or don't bring your lab coat into your house. Take your shoes off before you track everything from the lab floor onto your carpet at home. Sterilize everything you use. Use your amphyl regularly. Clean your lab area and chair before and after. Shower immediately when you get come from class. I guess if you really are worried you could wear a mask.

    Also, if I were you I would find out why I get sick so easily. Could it be irritable bowel syndrome? Is there something wrong with your intestinal flora? I would definitely get that checked out especially if you're going to pursue a career in microbiology.
    Last edit by lauraline on Apr 20, '13
    mbkgen likes this.
  9. Visit  babygyrl9706 profile page
    0
    The only sickness you could of caught from my micro class, was a really nasty cold. Nothing serious though, because the bacteria you will be handling are usually weakened.
  10. Visit  babygyrl9706 profile page
    0
    As the previous post stated, do not take your face when handling bacteria, and Wash! Wash! Wash!
  11. Visit  nurseprnRN profile page
    2
    Nurse_Diane and CLoGreenEyes like this.
  12. Visit  douxmusique profile page
    0
    I totally understand your fears. Trust me when I tell.you that the bacteria you will be working with are "opportunistic" pathogens, and generally considered normal microflora. Did you know that e. Coli is used to die denim blue? It's true :-). There are many different strands of the bacteria, and you do not use mutations in lab. You will learn aseptic technique and gain confidence that through exposure that micro is not going ti make you sick.

    I suffer from severe anxiety due to some previous health issues ans being afraid that I will catch a stomach virus...... So I get where you're coming from. I can't stop my panic attacks but I have to push through my fears.

    I also think it's more likely you suffer from ibs than that you're eating "bad food". I know I do!

    Hang in there and just micro done and over with. Bacteria is essential to life and so is the understanding of it. You will learn a great deal.
  13. Visit  Twinmom06 profile page
    2
    you won't get sick from micro - we handled e. coli but it was not a virulent strain...we handled staph aureus, and a few other organisms that have nasty names but they were the strains that didn't make you sick..

    one of the best parts of micro was the project at the end of the class where you have to identify your bacteria
    smithlette and SopranoKris like this.
  14. Visit  Marasca profile page
    1
    While I agree with everyone that you won't get sick in your micro class, I think you may need to reconsider this as a vocation. I currently work in a Micro lab handling BSL 2 organisms - this is as safe as you will find in this industry. My observation has been that new hires typically spend the first 1 - 2 years constantly getting sick. It's nothing bad, but the positive pressure requirements tend to dry out the mucous membranes and they fall ill until they've caught pretty much everything. (I did catch MRSA my first month - but I have no idea where it came from.)

    Since you seem squeamish about illness, I suggest you really think it over.
    twigszoo likes this.

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