SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate knowledge of the structure and biology of micro organisms as it applies to clinical practice 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
252110  Demonstrate knowledge of the structure and biology of micro organisms as it applies to clinical practice 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Nursing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Preventive Health 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for people working as clinically focused, service orientated, independent, registered staff nurses, who are able to render basic care to persons with stable and uncomplicated general health problems, as determined by the appropriate legislative framework.

This unit standard will recognise the essential knowledge and skills required to apply knowledge of micro organisms in clinical practice to control infection and the spread of contagious diseases.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Classify micro-organisms according to morphology.
  • Describe the lifecycle of micro organisms.
  • Identify the portals of entry and modes of spread of micro-organisms.
  • Apply knowledge of microbiology in clinical practice. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The credit calculation is based on the assumption that learners are already competent in terms of the following outcomes or areas of learning when starting to learn towards this unit standard:
  • Communication and Maths Literacy skills (NQF Level 4). 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Specific range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.

    The following scope and context applies to the whole unit standard:
  • Morphology and physiology of organisms includes: structure, metabolism, life cycle, growth and spread of organisms.
  • The Nurse functions within the scope of practice of a staff nurse as formulated by the SANC and the Nursing Act. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Classify micro-organisms according to morphology. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Micro organisms are correctly classified according to their properties and characteristics. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Micro-organisms include:
  • Bacteria (Gram- negative/ Gram-positive), fungi, helminths, protozoa, viruses, other (mycoplasms, chalmydiae, rickettsiae).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Scientific terminology related to microbiology is used correctly and concepts accurately described in accordance with generally accepted medical usage. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Microbes are described in terms of their environmental prevalence. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Environment includes:
  • Air; water; soil; animal & human species.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The medical significance of indigenous flora is discussed with reference to circumstances under which they may cause infection, and their role in human disease. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe the lifecycle of micro organisms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The function of micro-organisms in nature is described and explained with reference to the breakdown and recycling of organic matter. The description includes reference to their action on harvested organic matter in the presence of moisture. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Function includes:
  • Fermentation; spoilage; degrading organic matter; recycling nitrogen and carbon, producing new soil; producing alcohol.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The ability of bacteria to reproduce cells rapidly is illustrated by relevant examples. The significance of this is explained with reference to both food production and the spread of disease. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The lifecycle of clinically important micro-organisms is accurately described in accordance with generally accepted medical usage. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The pathogenesis of infection is described and explained with reference to the virulence and pathogenecity of the different types of micro-organisms, and the tissue damage that they may cause. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The recognition and diagnosis of infection is discussed with reference to micro-organisms in cultures of blood or other tissues or body fluids and swabs taken from healthcare users, the hands of practitioners or the environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Antimicrobial agents are described and explained in terms of their mechanisms and the precise stage of the organism life cycle at which medication has its effect. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Scientific terminology related to micro-organisms and the pathogenesis of infection is used correctly in accordance with generally accepted medical usage. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Identify the portals of entry and modes of spread of micro-organisms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The normal sterile state of human tissues, blood and internal body fluids is described, with reference to the defense mechanisms which prevent the establishment of infection. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The composition of microbial flora on the body surface is described with reference to location and local conditions. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Location includes:
  • Skin/hair shafts; respiratory tract; gastro-intestinal tract.

    Local conditions include:
  • Temperature, gaseous atmosphere, nutrient availability, pH, microbial adherence, presence of other organisms.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The entry of micro-organisms into the human body is described with reference to the medium and the entry points. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Medium includes:
  • Air, water, food, soil, animal and human species.

    Entry points:
  • Nose and lungs; mouth, throat, stomach, intestinal tracts; eye sockets; skin (via abrasions, punctures); genitals, mucous membranes.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The presence of micro-organisms in the body is described and explained with reference to their existence as parasites or pathogenic microbes. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The action and spread of pathogenic micro-organisms is described with reference to their virulence, impact on metabolic activities, and cause of disease. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The action of antibiotics on micro-organisms is described with reference to their effect on pathogenic organisms and indigenous flora. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Effect on indigenous flora includes:
  • Diarrhea, secondary infections.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Apply knowledge of microbiology in clinical practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Infection control measures applied are appropriate to the particular portal of entry and the mode of spread of the micro-organism. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Universal precautions for infection control and against the spread of contagious diseases are utilised in clinical practice in accordance with standard medical procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Precautions include:
  • Gloves, goggles, masks, aseptic technique.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Methods of antisepsis and sterilisation selected are appropriate to the threat or risk, and are correctly implemented in accordance with standard medical procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Methods include:
  • Use of antiseptic/sterilisation products; gas and electrical autoclaving; techniques for sterilisation (dry heat, steam, gas autoclaving, fluids).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Own practice and that of others is monitored and reviewed at agreed intervals for compliance with antiseptic and sterilisation procedures. Corrective actions in the event of non-compliance are consistent with best practice. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Accreditation Options: Providers of learning towards this unit standard will need to meet the accreditation requirements of the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation Option: The moderation requirements of the relevant ETQA must be met in order to award credit to learners for this unit standard. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following essential embedded knowledge will be assessed through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the stipulated assessment criteria. Candidates are unlikely to achieve all the specific outcomes, to the standards described in the assessment criteria, without knowledge of the listed embedded knowledge. This means that for the most part, the possession or lack of the knowledge can be directly inferred from the quality of the candidate's performance. Where direct assessment of knowledge is required, assessment criteria have been included in the body of the unit standard.

    The following embedded knowledge is also included in this unit standard:
  • Human pathological and/or physiological response to invasion by micro-organisms.
  • Pathogenesis and diagnosis of infections and illnesses. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.
  • Note: Core-decision-making about illness. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Note: Nursing care provision is team based. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Note: Critical-meticulous attention to detail w.r.t. patient health. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Note: Core to the standard-every examination involves recording and analysing information. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: Information sharing with patients; gathering and using information. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: Important-gathering and using information. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Note: The body as a system. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure that evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, direct, authentic, sufficient, systematic, open and consistent.

    The following particular issues should be taken into consideration when assessing against this unit standard:
  • The SANC guidelines are used as a reference for integrated assessment.
  • Formative Assessment: A variety of assessment strategies and/or approaches integrating theory and practice must be used. These could be tests, assignments, projects, demonstrations or clinical assessments or any other applicable method.
  • Summative: This could take a form of oral, written and/or practical assessments as agreed to with the relevant ETQA.

    Definition of Terms:

    Terms have been clarified as far as possible through the use of range statements. Further clarification of terms is provided as follows:
  • None. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59236   National Diploma: Nursing  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2021-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 
    Fundamental  59257   Bachelor of Nursing  Level 7  NQF Level 08  Reregistered  2021-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 
    Elective  66389   Higher Certificate: Diagnostic and Procedural Coding  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  HW SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.