Even though it is unlikely that a medical assistant will have to interpret the results of a gram stain, it is important to know what the different types, shapes, and colors of bacteria are and what it means when they are reported out.
Please read the following scenario:
An 86 year old patient presented to the ER with severe body shivers/chills. Her initial blood results are normal including her CBC. The physician orders blood cultures and the patient is admitted for observation. After 24 hours the patient is told that the initial blood culture shows gram positive and gram negative rods in her blood stream. It will take another 24 hours for the test to show exactly what type (species) of bacteria is in her system. The following day, the infectious disease doctor walks into the patient’s room and tells her that she has MRSA and will have to be on antibiotics for 4 weeks.
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