Getting Started

To see how the GermBugs work, and how they compare to traditional microbiology teaching please complete the exercise below.

Step 1

Watch this 10 minute traditional lecture on the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.

Step 2

Read the following clinical scenario then communicate answers to the patients questions. If you can do this in a pair it will help, or just pretend you are talking to a patient.

Stressed asian senior woman suffering from backache

Miss Smith scenario: Wound infection

Miss Smith, a 70-year-old female has a hip replacement. Five days later her operation wound becomes red and painful, and she becomes unwell with a fever and confusion. Miss Smith is treated with an antibiotic called flucloxacillin. Miss Smith’s condition worsens despite antibiotics for 48 hours. Blood cultures, taken at the time she became unwell are confirmed to have isolated methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Miss Smith’s antibiotics are changed to vancomycin. A few days later, Miss Smith has improved –  you as a medical student go to see the patient.

Miss Smith asks:

  1. How did I end up with MRSA in my blood?
  2. Why did the flucloxacillin not work?
  3. If I have another operation, could I do anything to stop this happening again?

Now, answer these questions as if you were talking to the patient.

Step 3

characters

Copyright Imogen Fancourt

Welcome to the GermBugs

You can now access the Alan Aureus GermBug resource.

The GermBugs are a series of stories about the bacteria that commonly infect patients

There are two versions of each GermBug resource. 1:) A story version, 2:) A story plus science version

Medical students told us they liked to start with just the story, and then build on it with the story plus science version

Step 4

Read the following clinical scenario then communicate answers to the patients questions. If you can do this in a pair it will help, or just pretend you are talking to a patient.

Young Woman Sleeping

Miss Jones scenario: Endocarditis

Miss Jones, a 27-year-old intravenous drug user is admitted to hospital with a groin abscess and is unwell with a heart murmur. She has a past medical history of endocarditis. Miss Jones is started on flucloxacillin and the doctor in A&E takes a set of blood cultures. Two days later the microbiologist informs the patients team she has an MRSA bacteraemia. Miss Jones antibiotics are changed to Vancomycin. The echocardiogram confirms a vegetation on the right heart valve consistent with endocarditis. Miss Jones is diagnosed with endocarditis and prescribed a prolonged course of antibiotics. A few days later and the patient has improved, you as a medical student are asked to see the patient.

Miss Jones asks:

  1. How did I end up with MRSA in my heart?
  2. Why did I need the vancomycin before I got better?
  3. What are the things I can do to stop these infections again?

Now, answer these questions as if you were talking to the patient.

Step 5

Time to reflect: How did you get on?

  1. Did GermBugs help you understand scientific concepts like the process of infection more easily?
  2. Was GermBugs an efficient way of learning?
  3. Were you more engaged by GermBugs?
  4. Was your communication more confident, more fluent after Germbugs? If it was, why was that?
  5. How long will you remember the lecture for, and GermBugs for?
Head to the ‘The GermBugs‘ section to explore the GermBug resources.