Image courtesy of Bard Medical Division.
The human microbiome is a collection of organisms living on the skin and in our GI and reproductive tracts. Nurses know these “germs” are there, and traditionally we have regarded them as potentially dangerous. We try to eliminate as many as possible when we disinfect skin before injections, surgery, or other procedures. Yet, as noted by the authors of a continuing education (CE) feature in the July issue of AJN, “Health and the Human Microbiome: A Primer for Nurses,” new research increasingly demonstrates that these microbes affect our health in significant and often positive ways.
” . . . once unequivocally regarded as dangerous invaders, [microbes] often serve us as integral companions, providing critical functions in fundamental human processes.”
In this article, Katie Gresia McElroy and colleagues share many thought-provoking research findings about the human microbiome that are relevant to nursing. Some examples: […]