Ancient Chinese tactician, Sun Tzu, wrote in The Art of War, his famous treatise on warfare, “Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.” For the modern medical warrior, like the doctors, nurses and certified nursing assistants who fight every day against countless illnesses and diseases, this quote couldn’t be more appropriate. Knowing what you’re up against can help you arrive to the metaphorical fight first. Understanding the nature of the enemy – in this case microbial attackers of nearly infinite variety – is essential to being able to help patients overcome or even avoid sickness in the first place. This fascinating piece explains how microbes join forces to become more effective at invading their host and warding off defenses – both antibodies and medication. Understanding the detailed pathology of every bacteria and virus may not be core curriculum for those taking a certified nurse assistant course, but Sun Tzu also said something about keeping one’s friends close, but one’s enemies closer So, all you pursuing your certified nursing assistant degree, read up on the enemy and be prepared to fight the good fight.