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1.5 Contact Hour(s)
1.5 Hours
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Routine Microscopy Procedures


Laboratory professionals should have basic knowledge and understanding of routine microscopy procedures and techniques. This course is designed to explore the processes, procedures, and techniques necessary for completing routine microscopic examinations of laboratory specimens. This eLearning course will introduce laboratory professionals to microscopy procedures for smear preparation, as well as preparing and interpreting the results of a Gram stain, wet mount, potassium hydroxide (KOH), and India Ink procedures.


This basic level course is designed for new or existing public health and clinical laboratory professionals, individuals with a science background who are entering or reentering the microbiology field, or individuals needing training on basic microscopy procedures.


Course content is closed captioned, where applicable, and optimized for a screen reader.


At the end of this course, learners should be able to:

  • Outline the steps of preparing a smear.
  • Express the purpose of the Gram stain procedure.
  • Identify the types of reagents used in the Gram stain procedure.
  • Sequence the steps in the Gram stain procedure.
  • Interpret the results seen in the bacterial cells, with the effects of the various reagents during the Gram stain procedure.
  • Outline the steps of preparing a wet mount and interpret results.
  • Describe the potassium hydroxide (KOH) procedure and its uses.
  • Identify the steps and results obtained in the India ink procedure.
  • Identify and resolve commonly encountered problems during routine microscopy procedures.
Continuing Education (CE)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Laboratory Systems is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program. This course is approved for 1.5 contact hour(s) of P.A.C.E.® credit.

P.A.C.E.® Course Number: 288-023-24