Debbie Knight

A Day in the Life: March 6, 2012

In research log on March 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

From time to time, I will give a glimpse into the “glamorous” life of a research associate and talk about what I’m doing in the lab on a particular day. These entries I will call “A Day in the Life…”

Today, I trained three people on how to use the autoclave. They had never used an autoclave before so it was pretty important to train them properly. This particular autoclave is pretty easy to use as far as autoclaves go: just select a cycle, press “start” and walk away.

But a few moments were needed to cover some safety features.

Things like checking to make sure the autoclave is warm, indicating that there is steam running through the building’s pipe. This is important since the steam is what heats and sterilizes the items that you have placed in the inner chamber.

Things like using an autoclave pan (whether it be plastic or metal) whenever you autoclave something. This little precaution is mainly to prevent spills from bursting liquid-filled glassware or melting non-heat resistant plastics from oozing all over the bottom of the autoclave and clogging its small drain.

Things like idiosyncrasies of this particular autoclave. especially how it takes a few minutes to get back to temperature after a liquid cycle.

I’ve got it so my spiel only takes only a few minutes, even for the uninitiated.

While the training process is not all that particularly “exciting,” it is important so that everyone uses the autoclave properly and safely.

Such was my day today.

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