Although I am not sure if there are people who actually read my blog, I still feel very swollen with pride for myself for having the nerve to display my work online. Being a self conscious person, I take comments about myself seriously, and so I try to avoid such especially bad ones. And what better way to contradict that act than posting your work for the world to see and critic, huh? But surprisingly, I haven’t received anything discouraging just yet. So let me take this opportunity to thank you guys for being so kind to me. HeHe..
Ok. Before tears start soaking up my keyboard I better start writing something that is actually related to my topic. But what is my final topic?? Drum roll please. For my final blog, I was assigned to talk about the things which may be recommended for a toxicology laboratory. Unfortunately, I failed to find a good reference for this subject. But the blogging must go on! And so I am just going to try my best to write something that I hope may give you even just a little extra knowledge about the “laboratorio de toxicologia”.
Recommendations, proposals, suggestions, advices… they are all intending to meet one target---an improvement. I feel kind of out of the position to actually be recommending about something that I personally have little idea of but let me have a few seconds to internalize my role as a recommendatory personnel (gosh, does that term actually exist?)…….3…2…1… FIGHT!
1. Before setting up a laboratory, one of the first things you would want to take a look at into are the people you are going to hire. First on the workforce and probably the most important is the “Laboratory Director”. Like in any organization an effective director must have a good background. He should have an appropriate education to be able to manage a lab and assume responsibilities.
2. They say that experiences are the best teachers so enough training is one important characteristic of a good laboratory director.
1. One of the most important things a laboratory should have in order to ensure the quality of the results it delivers is the standardization of every procedure it is capable of doing. A laboratory is composed of different laboratory technicians. Because of this, different techniques are inevitable. Therefore standardization of every procedure is important. It is called Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
Here are examples of procedures which I think needs standardization in order to ensure the accuracy of the results when released:
• Specimen Collection and Labeling
• Specimen Handling
• Recommended Amounts of Specimen
1. Perhaps one of the basic requirements for the operation of a toxicology laboratory is a secured handling of specimen from the time it is collected to the time it is released with the results. It is crucial to have an effective chain-of-custody because failure to have so may be grounds for legal suites against the laboratory. Negligence is the term.
2. Unauthorized persons should never be allowed to get inside the laboratory itself. Use of bar code systems instead of patients’ name are also an effective way of ensuring privacy and security.
1. Since we are dealing with toxic substances, a toxicology laboratory should have an efficiently working toxic substance/biological hazards elimination system. Fume hoods, exhaust fans and closed incineration systems are therefore essential laboratory must haves. Safety is everybody’s business.
So there you have it (I can’t believe I am actually about to finish). I believe that these recommendations may further be revised but I think these are the basic things a toxicology laboratory must have. The world of science has been moving in a very fast pace. Just like what the camerlengo said in the book Angels and Demons, “mankind took thousands of years to progress from the wheel to the car… Now we measure scientific progress in weeks. These recommendations might have long been fulfilled but it pays off to know the roots of all of these improvements we now enjoy.