For those future scientists, here are a few things to keep in mind about working in a lab. Whether it is for a class or for research there are certain standards that should always be maintained in order to be successful and respectful in the science lab environment. These are a few tips that I received in my upper level biochemistry lab course that I felt were important to share with you.
1. Punctuality. Other people are planning their day around and relying on you to be working in your research lab when you say you will be. Showing up late it is a sign of disrespect. This is because you may be using the equipment at a later time, which may cause changes to other peoples’ schedules, or if someone is teaching you a new protocol they must wait around for you to show up at the lab. Furthermore if you are taking lab, like any other class, walking in late is impolite.
2. Be courteous. Clean up after yourself. Always leave the lab workstation the way you found it. Be courteous to other people’s stuff. Don’t mess with material that isn’t yours because it may be disruptive to someone else’s experiment in the lab.
3. Attentiveness is key.
4. Come prepared. Understand the protocol you are about to perform. If you don’t understand something it is important to ask before you attempt to do anything. All the supplies you use cost money and therefore should not be wasted.
5. Teamwork is very important.
6. Be efficient. With these six tips in mind, you will be well on your way to being respectful and courteous in the lab environment.
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