Introduction to Clinical Bacteriology (SLS200)

10 credits

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with the knowledge and understanding of bacteria and their role in health and disease, including the role of the clinical microbiology laboratory. In the work-based module they will be expected to apply this knowledge as they learn to perform basic microbial techniques and gain experience in the interpretation of patient results in a variety of clinical settings.

1. Interpret routine requests for bacteriology investigations in the correct clinical context and process the specimens that accompany those requests.
2. Perform the range of laboratory techniques used in the workplace to investigate important bacterial infections, including bacterial susceptibility.
3. Apply the principles of internal quality control and external quality assessment and draw conclusions about assay performance.
4. Report the results of commonly performed investigations of bacterial infection.
5. Use laboratory IT systems for handling, processing and storage of patient data.

Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Interpret request forms and recommend the most appropriate investigation strategy to investigate bacteriological samples.

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2 1,5

Receive, process and store common bacteriological specimens, including blood cultures, wound swabs, urine, faeces, respiratory specimens, genital specimens and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

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3 2

Use of manual, semi-automated and automated equipment deployed in the bacteriology laboratory.

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4 2

Perform and interpret microscopy of blood culture, urine, faeces and CSF.

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5 2

Select media for and culture blood, wound swabs, urine, faeces, respiratory specimens, genital specimens and CSF.

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6 2

Interpret culture plates and perform identification tests for commonly isolated bacteria from a range of biological specimens.

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7 2

Perform and interpret the results of simple bacterial susceptibility testing.

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8 3

Apply internal quality control (IQC) and external quality assessment (EQA) methods used in bacteriology.

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9 3,4,5

Produce reports using validated results on common bacteriology investigations.

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10 5

Use laboratory and hospital information systems to identify and record patient demographics, clinical details and relevant laboratory results.

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11 1,2

Control infection risks in accordance with departmental protocols.

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12 1,2

Minimise risks and hazards in compliance with health and safety policies.

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You must complete
1 Case-based discussion(s)
1 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Receive a range of clinical samples, book them in to the appropriate IT system and select the appropriate investigations that are required DOPS
Perform microscopy on clinical samples to investigate important bacterial infections DOPS
Perform culture on clinical samples to investigate important bacterial infections DOPS
Perform bacterial susceptibility tests using solid or liquid media DOPS
Perform internal quality control on a chosen methodology DOPS
Use laboratory IT systems for handling, processing and storage of patient data DOPS
Perform identification tests for commonly isolated bacteria DOPS
Perform and critically evaluate the results from a range of assays used to investigate bacterial infections DOPS
An appropriate activity agreed with your Training Officer OCE

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the pathogenesis of important bacterial infections.
2. Discuss and evaluate the range of clinical investigations used in the detection and management of important bacterial infections.
3. Describe the design, operation and performance of a range of techniques, including test selection, used in the identification of bacteria.
4. Discuss and evaluate the role of the clinical microbiology laboratory in the provision of information for management and treatment of bacterial infections.
5. Describe the relevant health and safety issues associated with bacterial isolation and identification, including storage and disposal.
6. Discuss and evaluate the quality management systems in place in the clinical microbiology laboratory.
7. Discuss the partnership between the clinical microbiology laboratory and other clinical specialisms in the investigation of bacterial infection and patient care.

Indicative Content

  • Bacterial structure and function
  • Bacterial classification and phylogeny
  • Bacterial replication and modes of transmission
  • Clinical impact of bacterial infection
  • Pathogenesis, epidemiology, clinical investigation and management of bacterial infection
  • Commonly encountered bacteria and related infections
  • Test selection criteria
  • Diagnostic tools for isolation and identification of bacteria
  • Investigation and reporting of bacteria
  • Microbiology health and safety legislation and its application within the laboratory
  • Current and new technological developments
  • Emerging and changing patterns of bacterial infections