Learning Goal: I’m working on a microbiology exercise and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
It is a late evening at the UIW Campus Health Clinic, and you have before you a 21-
year old patient that has a temperature of 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 F) and an
abscess on her left index finger.
She reports that 2 days ago, while in her General Microbiology lab, she tipped a
broth tube of Staphylococcus aureus to look at it. The cap was loose, and the
culture spilled all over her hand and lab book. She had arrived late to the lab, and
did not want Dr. Vallor to notice, so she failed to get and put on any gloves, since
the box was near the instructor desk. Now this had happened, and she was worried about what Dr. V. would think of her
so she dried off the spill with a paper towel, sneaked up to get a pair of gloves, put them on immediately and waited
until the lab was over to wash her hands in the bathroom. Unfortunately, there was no soap and she was late for her
next class, so she simply rinsed her hands quickly and went to her Chemistry laboratory.
One last note: Our student is a work-study whose job is to re-fill all the paper copiers on campus. She had had a
long morning performing her duty and had felt some dryness and sensitivity on her fingers before the lab but did not
further investigate due to her being overwhelmed by running late.
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
1. What is happening to the patient?
2. Describe what Staphylococcus aureus is. What sort of infections does it cause? Should she be concerned?
3. If you were her lab partner, what would you have advised her to do?
Propose a treatment plan.