Let me begin this article by telling a rather funny but instructive story. Enjoy and learn please…
First year Medical Students of Kenyatta University were attending their first Anatomy Class. As they all gathered around the Anatomy Table beholding the real dead body before them,
their lecturer, Professor Mwangi started the class by telling them the two important qualities of a good Doctor. He said, “The first thing is that you must never be DISGUSTED about anything in the cadaver.” And to demonstrate what he meant, he inserted his finger in the dead body’s anus, lifted his hand, put his finger in his own mouth and tasted it!
After this bizarre act, the Professor told the students to do what he just did. Baffled, the students hesitated for several minutes before eventually inserting their fingers in the dead body’s anus and tasting it one after the other. Everyone except Professor Mwangi was frowning by the time they were done with their “tasting”.
And then the professor looked at them and said: “The second most important quality of a good doctor is “Observation”. Mind y’all, I inserted my middle finger in the cadaver’s anus but tasted the second finger! Now, learn to pay ATTENTION!!!”
All the students fainted!!
Important Lesson: Always pay attention and be observant!
Now did you laugh? Well it’s funny quite alright, but very instructive. The Anatomy Labouratory is a place to be careful. With all those dead bodies (killed by all sorts of conditions and laden with bacteria and viruses), it is imperative that students working there be extremely observant and careful. This advice is necessary for students working in any type of labouratory, be it Chemical, Technical, Biological or Physical. That said, below are the important safety measures every science student must ensure to abide by when working in a lab. Note them!
- Be observant
- Be extremely careful
- Never eat, drink, or smoke while working in the laboratory.
- Read labels carefully.
- Do not use any equipment unless you are trained and approved as a user by your supervisor.
- Wear safety glasses or face shields when working with hazardous materials and/or equipment.
- Wear gloves when using any hazardous or toxic agent.
- Clothing: When handling dangerous substances, wear gloves, laboratory coats, and safety shield or glasses. Shorts and sandals should not be worn in the lab at any time. Shoes are required when working in the machine shops.
- If you have long hair or loose clothes, make sure it is tied back or confined.
- Keep the work area clear of all materials except those needed for your work. Coats should be hung in the hall or placed in a locker. Extra books, purses, etc. should be kept away from equipment, that requires air flow or ventilation to prevent overheating.
- Disposal – Students are responsible for the proper disposal of used material if any in appropriate containers.
- Equipment Failure – If a piece of equipment fails while being used, report it immediately to your lab assistant or tutor. Never try to fix the problem yourself because you could harm yourself and others.
- If leaving a lab unattended, turn off all ignition sources and lock the doors.
- Never pipette anything by mouth.
- Clean up your work area before leaving.
- Wash hands before leaving the lab and before eating.