It is easy to pick up concepts and basics on laboratory techniques from books, technical journals and Internet but if such learning can be supplemented with exposure to a laboratory it will will be a definite value addition. Laboratory training is like getting a first-hand insight into what you can expect if you aspire for a future career in R&D or Quality Control laboratory.
Getting an exposure to laboratory is difficult in comparison to gaining access to documentary information. However, if you do get an opportunity here are some tips on making the most from your experience.This will have long range benefit in your professional career.
A laboratory exposes you to potentially harmful chemicals, corrosive liquids and vapours, toxic substances and gases. It is essential to familiarise yourself with laboratory safety practices and safety gear. Be observant and pick up emergency measures to be taken in case of accidents and mishaps.
A laboratory layout design takes into consideration following key factors:
- Minimization of cross contamination between samples
- Safe storage of bulk chemicals and gas cylinders
- Impediment free movement of personnel and material
- Blockage free passages
- Effective ventilation and lighting
- Unidirectional movement of sample from receipt to final report generation
- Provision of special facilities such as air conditioning, air filters, fire extinguishers and laboratory utilities
- Sample receipt and disposal
Observe the practices followed from sample receipt, distribution, analysis and final disposal
You may have opted for laboratory training with the specific objective to learn a specific technique of your interest but if laboratory management gives its consent do take a round and observe what all analytical facilities are available and to what use they are being put to.
During your laboratory training keep your eyes and ears open for making the most of the precious opportunity. Instead of concentrating on any particular technique or application interact with other analysts and clarify your doubts and enquire on scope of applications on other available techniques. The experience could be beneficial in the long run when down the line in future you could be involved in planning a laboratory. At that time your present exposure will help you take vital decisions.