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  • Use the Gram Stain

    In microbiology we learn to use the Gram stain results of a direct smear to check specimen quality (usually by a count of squamous epithelial cells) and any predominating organisms (e.g. lancet shaped Gram positive cocci on a sputum) that suggest what to work up. All good micro techs use the Gram stain. Intracellular organisms are an immediate ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on May 24, 2013
  • A Tale of Two Smears

    Two sputum Gram stains tell different stories. The first is loaded with white cells and Gram positive cocci, the blood plate overrun with staph. The second has a few white cells and mixed flora, and the plates show some staph colonies without predominant growth. In both cases, surveillance nares cultures are collected and grow MRSA. In both ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on August 4, 2010
  • Teachable Moments

    Much was made of the President's ''beer summit'' last July, a meeting between a black professor and the white policeman who arrested him, something the Wall Street Journal labeled a ''teachable moment.'' Aside from wondering what kind of beer goes best with conflict resolution, I'd never heard the term. A teachable moment is that rare and ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on October 14, 2009
  • Calculations

    Most of us aren't mathematicians. Well, I'm not. I've known people who are just better at ''seeing'' math than myself. I've always struggled to add a column of figures in my head, forget solving Fermat's Last Theorem. Which has been solved already. Just as well. Even so, some formulas are burned into my layman's brain from repetition. ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on September 8, 2009