Working in a Medical Laboratory you must be familiar with the various laboratory reagents and equipment, keeping of medical records, standard of filling result booklet, maintenance of working environment. I also learnt how to develop professional work method in laboratory management, collection and handling of samples such as blood, stool, urine, swab e.t.c as well as making diagnosis from them.
MICROSCOPE – This is equipment that is used in magnifying smaller object to make them visible to the human eye. It is plugged to an electric power source for focusing and viewing of slide. When a bright light is passed through an object, the objective lenses, the main magnifying part, absorbs light and emits it at its upper end to produce an image that is viewed through the eye piece.
INCUBATOR - It is used for incubating streaked agar plates for culturing and sensitivity with a temperature of 370c. It is also used for drying apparatus.
AUTOCLAVE - It is equipment used for sterilizing materials like scissors, forceps, test-tubes etc. it is also used for boiling agar poured into a conical flask for medical preparation and also used in the production of distilled water.
CENTRIFUGE – it is used to hasten the deposition of substances in solutions such that the heaviest ones settle first when in use. It must be balanced with the same level of sample in each container to avoid operational damage.
MICRO HAEMATOCRITE READER - it is used for reading PCV by placing the already spinned capillary tube on the reader and adjusting the knob before standing properly for accurate readings.
BALANCES – It is based on the principle of weighing by substitution which states that the sample to be weighed placed on the right hand platform is weights placed on the left hand platform. It is used for precise and accurate weighing of quantities of materials and substances such as reagents and culture media.
SPECTROPHOTOMETER – it is an instrument used to measure absorbance and various wavelengths.
SLIDES – used for microscopy and staining purposes in the laboratory.
TEST TUBES - to heat and hold solutions for observation of reactions.
SYRINGES – for collection of blood sample from a patient.
OPERATION AND MAINTAINACE OF EQUIPMENT
Equipment that requires careful operation is the microscope, centrifuge, electrophoresis machine and spectrophotometer. The above equipment would hardly function efficiently if not properly maintained. Hence the microscope is covered to prevent dust from entering it. The various parts are cleaned before and after use and it is switched off after an appropriate period of time to avoid damage. The spectrophotometer needs sufficient light to operate with and care must be taken not to disturb the instrument. The centrifuge must not be over loaded and should be disconnected from electric source when not in use.
SOME COMMON ABBREVIATION USED IN THE LABORATORY
HIV - Human Deficiency Virus
PCV - Packed Cell Volume
MP - Malaria Parasite
PT - Pregnancy Test
RBS - Random Blood Sugar
BG - Blood Group
WBC - White Blood Cell
RBC - Red Blood Cell
CSF - Cerebrospinal Fluid
UTI - Urinary Tract Infection
FBS - Fasting Blood Sugar
HVS - High Vagina Swab
MCS - Microscopy Culture and Sensitivity
ECS - Endocrinal Swab
HCG - Human Chronic Gonadotrophines
M/C/S - Microscopy, Culture and Sensitivity
ESR - Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
VDRL - Veneral Disease Research Laboratory
Daily activities in the laboratory include cleaning the surrounding, disinfecting working benches, keeping of medical records such as register, report, request form, receipt. The register is used for recording patient’s data, the test to be conducted and result of investigation. The result is recorded in the laboratory, report form which is signed and dated before issued out to the patient.
The following ethics are necessary for safety in the laboratory:
• All staffs working in the laboratory are expected to put on their laboratory coat and disposable gloves to avoid contamination.
• Eating and drinking in the laboratory is prohibited.
• All laboratory personnel should avoid keeping long nails and leaving wounds open.
• Working benches, materials, areas and surfaces should be disinfected daily before work.
• Wear face mask when carrying out analysis that may splash.
• All staffs are to wash their hands properly after each test when the gloves has been disposed.
• All electrical appliances must be switched off before leaving the laboratory.
• Used needles should be properly disposed and not to be used for another patient.
• Keep specimen in appropriate containers with secured lids.
• All glass waves and plastics should be soaked in disinfectant for at least 24hours.
Safety is ensured and enhanced in the laboratory by carrying out the above laboratory ethical practices.
HANDLING AND COLLECTION OF SAMPLES
Handling of samples includes collection and preservation of specimen. It is ensured that the right container is used in the collection and storage of specimen samples. Samples handled in the laboratory include blood, urine, stool, sputum, swabs etc. needles and syringe are used for the collection of blood, swab sticks are use for collecting specimen from the throat, virginal, nostril while sterile containers are use for urine and stool. Blood samples are placed into anti-coagulant container such as EDTA (Green), fluoride oxalate container (Yellow), lithium heparin (Blue) depending on the investigation to be run. They are kept in the refrigerator in order to keep the bio-chemical component.
Urine, stool, sputum are collected into a universal sterile container and can be preserved in the refrigerator. Swab sticks are also kept in the refrigerator.
In order to take a blood sample, the upper or lower aim of the patient is tired into toniquet and then tapped to pronounce the vein properly. Methylated spirit induced cotton wool is used to clean the surface to remove bacteria from the skin. The needle is slightly used to puncture/pierce the vein and blood sample is collected by carefully pulling the plunger of the syringe backward until it gets to the required guage. When the needle is removed, dry cotton wool is placed on the point in order to clear and stop blood.