Preparing to Perform Lab Work
Due to the fact that both human skin and the environment in general contain a huge number of microbes, it is necessary to take a few precautions before beginning any quality work.
Perform the following procedures to ensure suitable conditions exist so that work can be done without contaminating the samples or media being processed.
Preparation for the Person Conducting Lab Work
- Pull back long hair and secure with a band; don a beard net
- Remove jewelry from fingers and wrists
- Wear garments without loose strings, ties, or floppy fabric
- Thoroughly wash hands, lower arms, and between fingers with soap and water
- Using a brush, scrub both the surface of and under fingernails
- Rinse and dry off with a disposable paper towel
- Apply hand disinfectant.
Prepare the Lab Environment and Surfaces
- Work surfaces should be non-flammable, non-porous, and free of clutter and debris
- Minimize airflow by closing windows and doors; turn off fans to reduce air movement
- Locate and don appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Clean work surface with a clean paper towel and mild soap or household cleaner
- Allow the surface to dry before proceeding
- Spray 70% isopropyl alcohol on the work area surface; wipe dry with a fresh paper towel
- Again, allow the surface to dry before proceeding
Consult the menu of Basic Lab Topics on this page for further instructions on practicing aseptic technique when performing particular procedures or handling specific pieces of equipment.