So, you’re opening your own medical lab. You’ve got a lot to consider, including what to incorporate into the space before opening. If you’re struggling to get it all organized, read on. Here are a few things to keep in the forefront of your mind to make the process a bit easier.
Your Lab’s Purpose
Before you can start setting up your lab space, you need to decide what your specific purpose is. If your lab is going to be dedicated to research, you need to then decide which field you’re focusing in. Different fields, missions, and methods require different types of equipment. For example, a teaching lab would require a whiteboard while a cell culture lab would need scientific freezers and pharmaceutical grade refrigerators.
After identifying your purpose, you can start bringing in your equipment. Take a look at the existing space. Do you have enough room for three scientific freezers, two vaccine storage refrigerators, and one undercounter medical refrigerator? If not, you’ll need to choose which pieces of equipment are the most necessary. If you plan to work with vaccines, you’re going to need freezers and refrigerators. To ensure vaccines are stored properly, three important steps must be followed: store vaccines at the ideal temperature, record daily temperatures at the start of the workday, and check temperature whenever you access the refrigerator and take action if the temperature is out of desired range.
If the space you procured was a lab prior to your ownership there might still be some equipment lying around, like benchtop freezers or scientific refrigerators. Repurposing equipment could save you money upfront.
The most important thing in a lab is safety. So when you’re setting up your lab, keep the safety of your employees and other personnel in mind. Place equipment where you know it won’t cause any harm to researchers or students. Run safety training programs and workshops that everyone is required to participate in. Make sure you always have a fire extinguisher, fire blanket, emergency showers, and gloves on hand.
Speaking of safety, you’ll likely have mounds of paperwork to go through. The paperwork might include Hazard Identification And Risk Assessment forms and other protocols. While these may seem annoying to have on hand, they are necessary. So keep everything in one place to avoid losing them.
Starting your own lab can be a lot of work. But in order to be successful, you need to have the right paperwork, the right equipment like scientific freezers, a purpose, and of course, a plan for safety.