Reading Gram Stained Smears From Cultures (Online CE Course)

(based on 1,193 customer ratings)

Authors: Betty Smith, MT(ASCP); Mary Ann Fiene, MSMT(ASCP); Rukhsana Evans, MSMT(ASCP)
Reviewer: Judi Bennett, MT, BSM

This course explains how to intelligently evaluate and interpret gram stained smears from cultures. Good for clinical laboratory science students, cross training, and CE. Covers gram positive and gram negative bacilli; single, pair, chain, and tetrad cell arrangements; and reporting.

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1.5 hour(s)
Course number 578-017-16, approved through 3/31/2018
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - General (Microbiology/Mycology/Parasitology): 1.5 hour(s)
Course number 20-547881, approved through 9/1/2018

Objectives

  • Explain the importance of Gram stained smears from isolated colonies.
  • Discuss the procedure for reading smears from cultures with respect to Gram stain reaction, shape of the organism, and arrangement of the cells.
  • Identify microorganisms as gram-positive or gram-negative and be able to describe their shape and cell arrangement.
  • Demonstrate ability to interpret Gram stained smears from various cultures and report appropriately.

Customer Ratings

(based on 1,193 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Introduction to Reading Gram Stained Culture Smears
      • Culture, Isolation, and Identification of Microorganisms
      • Which of the following are part of the microorganism identification process?
      • A physician can use the information provided from a Gram stained culture smear to help make a preliminary diagnosis and begin treatment.
  • General Aspects of Gram Stained Smears From Culture
      • Gram Stain
      • Preparation of a Gram Stained Smear From Culture
      • Quality Control (QC)
      • Gram Stain Quality Control (QC) Organisms
      • Examining the Smear
      • Which of the following is TRUE of the Gram stain procedure?
      • Match each of the following Gram stain items/actions to the appropriate statement.
  • Organism Shapes in Gram Stained Culture Smears
      • Cocci and Rods
      • Variations in the Shape of Cocci
      • Variation in the Shape of Bacilli
      • Gram-Negative Rods (GNRs)
      • Which of the following terms can be used to describe cocci? (Choose all that apply.)
      • Bacilli can have tapered or rounded ends.
  • Arrangement of Organisms in Gram Stained Culture Smears
      • Cellular Arrangement
      • Single Cell Arrangement
      • Pair Cell Arrangement
      • Chain Cell Arrangement
      • Tetrad Cell Arrangement
      • Clusters of Gram-Positive Bacteria
      • Yeast Cells
      • When describing microorganisms seen on a Gram stained smear, what do terms such as diplococci, tetrads, chains, and clusters describe?
  • Gram Stain Characteristics and Organisms Expected From Common Body Sites
  • Reporting Gram Stained Culture Smears
      • Gram-Stained Smears From Culture: Importance and Reporting
      • Select the correct choice for reporting.
      • Select the correct choices for reporting.
      • Select the correct choice for reporting.
      • Select the correct choice for reporting. Hint: This Gram stain was prepared on an aging culture. Focus on the organisms represented by the arrows.
      • Select the correct choice for reporting.
      • Select the correct choice for reporting.
      • Select the correct choice for reporting.
      • When performing a Gram stain from culture media, which of the following must ALWAYS be reported for the organism? (Choose all that apply.)
      • The type of culture medium used to recover an organism does NOT have an effect on cellular arrangement.
  • Case Studies in Reading Gram Stained Smears From Cultures
      • This organism is recovered from the sputum of a patient with hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP). Which of the options below would be used to describe t...
      • This organism is recovered from the blood culture of an immunocompromised patient. Which option below would be used to describe the Gram stained smear...
      • This organism is recovered from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of a child who attends daycare, following a severe ear infection. Which of the options b...
      • This organism is recovered from the cervical culture of a female of childbearing age. Which of the options below would be used to describe the Gram st...
      • This organism is recovered from the joint fluid of a 28-year-old patient. Which of the options below would be used to describe the Gram stained smear?...
      • This organism is recovered from a wound culture. Which of the options below would be used to describe the Gram stained smear? (Choose all that apply.)
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Basic

Intended Audience: Clinical laboratory science students, and medical tehcnologists and technicians seeking review, cross training, or continuing education opportunities. It is also appropriate for medical students and pathology residents.

Course Description: This illustrated course cover the basics of reading gram stained smears from cultures, including interpretation of controls, reading, interpreting and reported Gram stained culture smears. It is illustrated with numerous images of actual culture Gram stains, and contains numerous interactive quiz questions.

About the Course: This course is part of a series of courses adapted for the web by MediaLab Inc. under license from Educational Materials for Health Professionals Inc. Dayton OH, 45420. Copyright EMHP. It has been reviewed and revised by MediaLab Inc. in January 2013.

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Staph aureus


<i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> isolated from culture


<i>Lactobacillus</i> species isolated from culture


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GPC for question


Gram Negative Bacilli


Oval shaped cocci


Gram Positive Cocci in Clusters