Go Inside a Clinical Microbiology Lab

hello and welcome to the clinical microbiology laboratory at Hershey Medical Center over the next few minutes you will observe the practices and activities of a clinical microbiology laboratory the profession of clinical microbiology offers a number of exciting opportunities to pursue a career in laboratory medicine that bridges the gap between the basic sciences and the practice of medicine often referred to as the bench to the bedside of patient care the detection and identification of infectious disease begins with a sample from a patient being received by the laboratory here you observe the technologist processing the patient sample using methods standardized for the clinical microbiology laboratory as you observe these practices it's important to know that a career in clinical microbiology is multifaceted and multidisciplinary clinical microbiology integrates fields of studies such as microbiology immunology molecular biology and pharmacology to ultimately influence patient care and public health the exciting and emerging studies of the human microbiome emerging infectious diseases response to bioterrorism and global health are examples of highly popular scientific fields that are influenced by clinical microbiology here you observe a microbiology technologist evaluating the growth after overnight incubation of the specimens processed the previous day clinical microbiologist are truly involved in real-life whodunit mysteries on a daily basis the microbiologist pieces together the real-time unfolding of evidence for the presence of bacteria viruses fungi and parasites that assist the clinician in the diagnosis and management of patients with infectious diseases clinical microbiologist most often work in hospitals Public Health or commercial reference laboratories in settings that range from urban to rural private to public academic to industry or civilian to the uniformed services the professional career fields that make up the laboratory staff include technicians with two-year associate's degrees technologists with four-year bachelor's degrees and doctoral-level directors with specific post doctoral training you will observe here that in addition to manual procedures the laboratory also relies on the use of automated equipment for the isolation and identification of microorganisms in many instances the clinical microbiologist uses automation to generate more rapid test results and reports clinical microbiologists are also educators and consultants in this scene a technologist trains pathology residents as part of their clinical pathology rotation doctoral level clinicians and scientists both MDS and PhDs undergo this type of bench level training as they become eligible to direct the clinical microbiology labs of the future in this scene the microbiology director is educating by leading a consultative session with the hospital infectious disease team here the clinician first presents a synopsis of the patient's clinical history be actually falling and sustained some injuries that the beginning the reviewing knuckle to make a hit following the case history the director projects a microscopic image so that the clinical team may review and discuss notice the interaction first with the senior or attending physician discussing his observations followed by comments among the clinical team as the discussion continues the clinical team begins to discuss potential treatment strategies this is a unique feature of clinical microbiology and that the results provided often lead to very specific therapeutic interventions in the clinical management of the patient additional interaction between the director and the team continues as the director Orient's the team members to the culture plates and discusses how the organisms are identified present our medical school students farm DS medical residents infectious disease fellows the laboratory supervisor and members of the laboratory staff I hope this video has sparked your interest in clinical microbiology there are a number of additional resources that more specifically describe the many educational paths it may lead to a fulfilling career in clinical microbiology to find out more please write down the link displayed


  1. Watching this brings back memories. Unfortunately I had to retire on medical grounds. I do miss being in the laboratory.

  2. I'm getting the idea microbiologists do a lot of swabbing, and staining, and looking at slides through microscopes, over…and over…and over again. Day in and day out.
    Really "exciting".

  3. I was really hoping to show this video to my students, but I cant because they are not using safe lab practices. This video has great material but I am disappointed that ASM would put out something with bad practices in it.

  4. it has long been my dream to become a clinical microbiologist. this fall, I am starting my undergraduate degree program double-majoring in Microbiology and Immunology and Infectious Disease. I am honored to dive into such a diverse field, and hope to get to know some of these great people.

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