The laboratory environment is endlessly fascinating. At the top labs in the country, scientists are exploring cures for complex diseases. They’re carrying out experiments that will change the way we see the world. They are learning more about the planet and our bodies. Enormous scientific leaps are made in these clinical rooms every single day.
If you’re a student with your heart set on working in a lab, today’s blog post is a treat for you! We’re going behind the scenes of some of the world’s top labs, to show you what to expect. If you’re about to embark on a science degree, we’ll give you a sneaky insight into your new world. Ready to dive in and uncover some of the biggest laboratory secrets? Let’s take a look.
First of all, it’s important to understand that there are various types of laboratory out there. Many are based in academic institutions. They are funded by universities and colleges to further their academic research. It’s often in the fields of science, geography, or medical exploration. Students with a Ph.D. grant are often found tinkering away in these labs, with the goal of extending academic understanding. On the other hand, there are many high-quality laboratories associated with hospitals and medical research. These are based on finding cures, and experimenting with new medicines. This year for example, scientists experimented with 3D printed organs within a lab environment. Finally, there are the government-funded institutions. These typically involve scientific experiments with regard to engineering, space exploration or scientific discovery. They’re usually based around the country’s national interest.
Of course, one of the first things you’ll notice within the lab is the strict focus on health, safety, and protocol. Laboratories are dangerous environments, and there are hazards all around. That’s why there is such a long training period when it comes to laboratory experiments. There are dangerous chemicals involved, and expensive equipment at every turn. It all starts with strict clothing policies. Laboratory workers use Barco uniforms and scrubs, and in some cases they’ll use clean suits. Hair is tied back, and loose jewellery is strictly prohibited. Students will shadow professional lab workers for weeks and months before being allowed to operate themselves. Usually, there is a strict policy of no working alone either.
The main objective of the laboratory varies according to the purpose of the institute. Funding is granted to explore specific areas of interest. The outcome of which is usually beneficial to the stakeholder. The medical institution, for example, has a vested interest in finding new cures and drugs. The experiments themselves often take years to complete. Having spoken to a variety of scientists and lab workers, it’s clear that work is rarely short! In fact, there are long periods of boredom. But, it’s all worth it when you make that breakthrough, no matter how small! The laboratory environment is incredibly collaborative and communal. Scientists often work together towards the same goal, and help provide a new perspective on the results.
If you’re looking to land a career in a laboratory, we hope this article sheds some light on your future. Good luck!