Communication in the Lab
Good communication is essential in any job and science is no exception. Communication in the laboratory takes many forms. Lab members must all communicate with each other on a day to day basis to know what reagents need re-ordering and where things are stored. As I mentioned in a previous blog, lab members often teach each other, and new lab members, new techniques and share information about new developments in the laboratory reagents available or new technology. They also share modifications to protocols they’ve tried. Lab members must also communicate with the lab head to report their progress and discuss concerns or ideas.
Both the head of the lab and the lab members will need to communicate regularly with the lab manager, if there is one, to ensure the lab runs smoothly. Communication is central to good laboratory management. If reagents get used up there always needs to be a process for re-ordering or letting whoever does the ordering know what is needed. There is also a great deal of information any lab manager needs to communicate to the members of the lab, such as: when reagents will arrive; how/where things should be stored; how any waste should be disposed of; and on what may money be spent.