What are the key processes and challenges associated with the successful running of a laboratory? To answer this, it is vital to understand and master the clinical lab management code used by scientists.
Globally, a lot of effort is applied to drug trials and research. A key factor usually considered ensuring the efficiency of the research procedures is the physical organizing of a lab.
An essential aspect is to ensure that your lab benches and general working area is neat and decluttered to minimise the risk of inefficiency.
Apart from making sure laboratories run safely and efficiently, lab managers are tasked with different roles depending on the job description. They mostly manage staff and laboratory informatics systems.
Clinical laboratory management is associated with many problems such as long turnaround periods and delays in reporting that can tamper with the workflow.
This article focuses on different aspects of health safety and management, compiled to enable the reader to acquire all the crucial information surrounding the broad topic of Lab Management.
Best Practices for PPE Use
Accidents are prone to happen in the workplace. Lab managers and occupational safety managers are usually aware of the dangers workers are exposed to while working in laboratories.
An issue of concern to those working in a lab setting is the aspect of laboratory safety. There is a risk of exposure to biological agents, pathogens and risky equipment.
This calls for action and amongst the most basic requirements for safety include the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
Basically, the PPE kits should consist of laboratory coats, safety glasses or goggles, protective gloves, scrubs and fully enclosed toe shoes. Avoid wearing any open shoes.
Most laboratory staff that are involved with the collection of blood or other fluids samples should wear lab coats that can be easily disposed of in the case of any spills.
Reusable fluid resistant lab coat and scrubs are always a great and better option compared to the usual cotton scrubs and lab coats when working with the laboratory hazard.
Choosing the appropriate glove material ensures maximum protection of the skin from any form of irritation or contamination.
Face masks are also an important part of the attire that protect the face and eyes against any splashing content. Extra respiratory protection may also be required depending on the extent of the risk to contract infections.
Regardless of the size and type of the lab, there is a standard number of laboratory safety rules and guidelines that should be strictly adhered to by labs for use on hazardous materials, various processes and in the operation of different equipment.
Below are safety tips you should follow.
- Avoid any chemical coming into contact with your eyes and skin. In case it happens, rinse thoroughly with cold water.
- Minimise any exposure to chemicals. Always assume that all chemicals are highly toxic.
- Avoid eating in places where hazardous chemicals are stored.
- Check all the potential hazards and wear PPE accordingly.
- Be familiar with all the emergency responses and safety equipment.
- Follow instructions and use equipment for only the purposes they are designated for.
Top 10 Lab Management Tips and How to Become A Good Lab Manager
Managing a lab is not an easy task. It can get overwhelming dealing with people and many other tasks. Ensuring everything flows smoothly is an important aspect of the management process.
Discussed below are 10 tips to help you manage your lab effectively.
- Set clear goals to be achieved within a stipulated period. The goals should be SMART; Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
- Communication and public relations are key in any managerial position. Ensure you communicate effectively. Your staff should also give their opinions and be listened to.
- Hold regular meetings to brainstorm on ideas and reflect on overall work progress. One to one meetings regularly are also a great way to offer your team members motivation.
- Do not micromanage your staff. Instead, offer them guidance and let them concentrate on individual tasks. This will ensure maximum motivation toward goal achievement.
- Find out what skills each team member is good at. By doing this, you will be able to assign duties to people depending on their abilities, thus maximum productivity.
- Lead by example. Contribute to the advancement of various scientific research projects, as a way of mentoring those who are just starting in the profession.
- Appreciate the effort and celebrate the success achieved by your staff. This will motivate them to achieve more with each project.
- Ensure that the feedback you give is always constructive. It should be honest and clear, positive or negative. The feedback should always guide them to become better.
- Help your team members to develop and improve their skills and knowledge in different fields of their interest.
- Provide a work-life balance for your staff. This ensures that your employees are less stressed and remain highly productive.
How to Become A Good Lab Manager
Laboratory managers are in-charge of various operations in laboratories.
The operations range from database management, software management, laboratory information management and general management of junior researchers.
To be a successful clinical lab manager, you require a relevant education. Most research firms prefer candidates with a degree in biochemistry and health care management.
To become a good lab manager, you need to rise the ranks and attain a higher-level position. You might spend many years as a lab technologist or lab technician.
There are no specific requirements to become a good clinical lab manager. The position is acquired based on many years of service and experience, good managerial skills and general competency in the field of laboratory management.
Fundamentals of Lab Management
The best way to manage your lab is through proper attention being paid to planning, organising, leading and controlling.
Planning: Ensure you come up with a time plan for your goals. This can be between 3 to 5 years. This lets you gauge the progress of your research and remain to motivate towards goal achievement.
Organising: Take time to organise your staff, time and the entire working area. This ensures that all research processes run effectively and efficiently.
Leading: Your leadership style should be worth emulating by your juniors. If your style is admirable, then the employees will remain motivated to achieve results.
Controlling: Be clear of the expectations from each employee and often, let them control themselves. Also, motivate them to become better by celebrating results instead of instilling fear.
This article is the ultimate guide for understanding aspects related to Lab Management. It has explained all the laboratory safety measures that researchers and scientists should maintain, not forgetting the need for PPEs. The information has also been provided on the tips to effectively manage a lab and the requirements necessary to become a lab manager. We hope this article is educative enough!