Erica Mitchell

Recent Posts

C. auris: Resistance is Everything

by Erica Mitchell | April 13 2019

The latest notorious pathogen to receive national press coverage is C. auris, a newcomer to the field and a threat with global implications. Joining the ranks of CRE, VRE, C. difficile and MRSA, this fungus is particularly sensational due to its novelty, it's seemingly spontaneous independent evolution on three continents, and it's high mortality rate. In today's post, we'll go over the basic story of C. auris, and end with some thoughts on how best to use a national story to bring about local change.

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Three CHEERS for the TREND to CONSORT with ORION at the EQUATOR: Or, Reporting Guidelines for Research

by Erica Mitchell | April 5 2019

For almost every type of research design, there is an expert-created set of reporting guidelines that attempts to standardize how data is shared. Each sporting their own impressive acronym, these reporting guidelines exist to help improve the quality of research by establishing a checklist of reminders for researchers about what is essential to each research design. So get out your spoon as we dive into this alphabet soup and learn the basics of each reporting guideline statement.

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Hygieia: Protector of the Infection Preventionist

by Erica Mitchell | March 29 2019

If those of us involved in the world of infection control and prevention lived in Ancient Greece, we would have surely found a home in the followers of Hygieia, the mythical goddess of cleanliness and sanitation and the origin of the word hygiene. While her sisters were worrying about healing, recuperation, and remedy, Hygieia was working to prevent illness by cleaning and advocating sanitary practices. (Sound familiar?) In today's post, the last in our series recognizing Women's History Month, we'll take a look at this figure, what she represented, and what she can teach us about the origins of the field of infection prevention.

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Microbiology's ACE: Alice Catherine Evans

by Erica Mitchell | March 22 2019

In today's post, we take a look back into the history of microbiology in our continued celebration of Women's History Month. The field of bacteriology started to pick up steam at the beginning of the 1900s, well before the time when women started receiving the same educational opportunities as their male peers. Nonetheless, one of the leaders of the field was Alice Catherine Evans, a researcher who overcame professional and cultural bias while making breakthrough discoveries that saved countless lives.

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Space is the Place for Women in Microbiology

by Erica Mitchell | March 15 2019

Thanks to films like Hidden Figures and the growing attention to the role women
play NASA, we are becoming aware of just how critical women have been throughout the development of our nation's space program. Not only in the fields of mathematics, computing, engineering, and aeronautics, women at NASA have also been a vital part of biological research. At critical intersections of space and microcosm exploration, there have been women scientists at the cutting edge.

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CDC Says MRSA Reductions Have Stalled: Have we hit the limit of human processes?

by Erica Mitchell | March 8 2019

Just a week before the beginning of Patient Safety Week 2019, a disheartening report has come out of the CDC showing that no significant reductions in national MRSA rates have been seen since 2013. While previous years had seen an average of 17% reductions annually, this progress slowed to 7% per year from 2013-2016. The CDC's conclusions? We'll explore them in today's post.

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What are micro-hospitals?

by Erica Mitchell | March 1 2019

A new trend in hospital design has been popping up in the past few years: Micro-hospitals. As our nation's health care options grow, incorporating more satellite facilities, ambulatory centers, and specialized hospitals, the need for new, huge acute care hospitals has shifted to smaller models. In today's post, we'll look at the most common description of one of the smallest types of emerging facilities and some possible implications for infection control and prevention.

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3 Key Differences Between White Papers and Scientific Papers

by Erica Mitchell | February 23 2019

The term "white paper" comes to us from a 100-year-old practice of government reporting in the UK. When government agencies provided data to Parliament to help them make decisions, they would offer three different types: Very long, comprehensive documents with a blue cover, open-ended reports with a green cover, and short, focused reports on a single topic with white covers. This last type, the concise document with information to solve a problem, came to be the formula for what is now known in many industries as a "white paper." Today, white papers are produced for sales purposes by for-profit companies, making them a marketing tool that can often be confused with a neutral scientific paper. While both publications have their purpose, it is important that the consumer know how they differ. Today we will compare these two documents to see beyond the surface similarities and become aware of the important differences.

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KonMari in the Hospital Room

by Erica Mitchell | February 13 2019

The newest Netflix break-out star isn’t an actress, a chef, or a comedian. She’s Marie Kondo, an expert at helping people declutter, organize, and thereby change their lives. One of Kondo’s key ideas, one that is essential to her signature protocol called the KonMari method, is “Tidying is the act of confronting yourself; cleaning is the act of confronting nature.” How could this philosophy that has so inspired the general public be applied to the hospital room? That is the goal of today’s post.

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American Medical Hero: William A. Hinton

by Erica Mitchell | February 8 2019

February marks a month to celebrate the vital role of African-Americans in our nation's history. Today, we will take some time to recognize an incredible individual who left a tremendous legacy in the world of microbiology, saving countless lives in the process. Please join us as we remember Dr. William A. Hinton, researcher, physician, mentor, and leader.

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