Which Stall is Dirtier: Medical Assistant Students Find the Answer

globe university medical assistant program

From left to right: Fidelis, Lisa, Brenda, Rita (instructor), Olivia and Crystal

Globe University-Madison West medical assistant students from the Microbiology and Urinalysis class conducted an experiment with germs and health that effects everyone. Their question: “which bathroom stall is more contaminated in a public restroom facility?”

Their hypothesis was the last stall in the restroom will be more contaminated than the first stall based off the belief that most people bypass the first stall, fearing that it is used most and will want more privacy. What they found may surprise you.

The experiment was conducted by collecting random specimen from the door handles in the bathroom stalls of the first stall and the last stall and then placed on an appropriate culture medium (see picture #2). The cultures where then grown in a petri dish where the dish facilitates growth and isolation. After, it was placed in an incubator where the students could see the bacteria grow and compare the two samples. The results were eye opening! Both stalls were equally contaminated because they grew about the same amount of germs.

The class took a trip to Attic Angels Community nursing home and presented their findings to the nursing and housekeeping staff at an infection control in-service where the students stressed the importance of cleaning thoroughly, washing your hands, and antibiotic resistance, which means having to buy stronger cleaners to kill the resistant germs.

globe university medical assistant program

Petri dishes with germ samples

“I want to thank Attic Angels for letting our class come and present to them. It helped the students understand the concepts they had just learned in class and tied it all together with the presentation,” Medical Assistant Program Chair Rita Cordova said.

Students were able to conduct an experiment, create a presentation, communicate their findings and help another organization stay healthy. Way to go medical assistant students!