Different Science Technicians

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					                                                                                         Ishmael Saleh

                                         Science Technicians


It is the science technician’s responsibility to prepare all the science lessons, which includes
preparing chemicals and biological samples. They have to make sure all equipment is clean after use
and make sure nothing has been broken or stolen. They are responsible for making stock solutions,
diluting acids and other solutions. They have to maintain a stock list of all equipment and solutions
and keep everything stored in the right place.

They have a flammable cupboard to store flammable substances, also has a fridge to store biological
substances such as bacteria. There is also a radioactive cupboard to store radioactive substances.

The main method of communication is through the telephone and order sheets.


In colleges, the science technician is the person who prepares the practical equipment and makes up
the solutions used in school science labs. The role also includes instructing and assisting teachers
with practical skills, including class demonstrations, for advanced techniques across all disciplines.
Many are very well qualified and have degrees, such as a Bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.Sc.) or
Master's degree (M.Sc.) and/or other professional qualifications such as the HNC, HND and NVQ.

Their main duties include:

         Care of living organisms
         Making up solutions
         School science experiments and demonstrations
         Inventory
         Budget and Accounts
         Repairing and constructing laboratory equipment


Your main responsibilities ?

Process samples. Maintain (fix) analyser. Regularly QC, troubleshoot analyser or strange results (as in
ones that aren’t biologically possible). Then authorise results using

PC so then Dr on wards can see them. Ensure results are processed within turn around time (A&E
have to have theres within an hour of them arriving into lab). Check outstanding list of unprocessed

How you handle materials ?

Biological samples are urine, Faeces, cero spinal fluid (CSF) but mostly serum and plasma (blood).
We use gloves. We only handle them in specified areas. Not “clean” areas. Also all solvents and
                                                                                         Ishmael Saleh

reagents need gloves. There labels vary (irritant, biohazard blah blah).wear lab coat. Goggles for
some solvents (never seen any).

Store management chemical, biological ?

All have assigned areas. Samples are stored in fridge room/freezers once tested. Depending on Drs
specific requests we only store for a week before discarding them in special bins and bags.

Chemicals are stored in specific areas that match the their COSSH label. Luckily most of the ones I
use are safe enough to keep on the bench.

Ordering procedures ?

Not my problem. I leaves note when we’re running low on stock and depending on what it is the
senior email the company responsible to deliver. We have regular deliverires that are monitored by
which ever senior is charge of the section. Audits are conducted to adapt to needs and as we’re NHS
we are looking for money saving schemes all the time.

How you calibrate equipment ?

We use a calibrator. A different one for each assay/test. All serum based and provided by the
reagent manufacturer. We have to do it every time we change lot numbers on reagents or if our QC
looks shit, or simply if it is due one.

We go to the anylsers PC and request it for a specific calibration on a specific test. The analyser
informs as which bottle to use on which rack and lot number. We run it. It is run like a sample as in a
tube is put on a specific rack on to the analsyer which recognises the rack barcode and tube position
and performs the required assay (either spectroscopy one or immunoassay) and standard curve is
made by analysers PC and the we run quality control and samples. The standard curve (abs against
concentration) made by the calibrator dictates what concentration is measured in each sample
(depending on abs it gives off??). I know what I mean but I cant remember the terms. Double check
my terminology cause this is too boring for me to look up.

Procedures for disposal ?

Special bags and bins depending on the material to be disposed of. Patients clinical data, blood,
sharps. Sink. Clean (black) bags for paper, cardboard or stuff that not been contaminated and dirty
bags (orange) for everything else that isn’t glass or sharp. Everything labell with special COSHH
stickers and we have date and specifiy which department its from, who put bin together and who
put lid on when it was full.

Handling and disposal of radioactive sources ?
                                                                                        Ishmael Saleh

Special liquid to wipe it up. Cant remember. No longer part of routine biochemistry test. Only used
specialist tests and they have there own special room and bin etc. we don’t go in there.

Handling and use of glassware ?

They’re disposed of in Sharps bins. Don’t smash it.

Handling and use of solvents and poisons ?

Poisons are locked in special cupboard. Solvents are everywhere in lab.

Use of ovens ?

Autoclaves. Turn them on. Have their own rooms.

Operations of fume cupboard ?

Turn on when using. For when your using things that stink.

Transfer of materials ?

Trolley to move racks of sample totake to fridge room. Transfer reagents from fridge room to bench.
Health and safety always important.

Lines of authority and accountabilty ?

Once a BMS is registered we’re all accountable of our own and our colleagues wellfare. I’m a band 6
and am accountable to band 7s and 8s and all management before them. Also to the HPC (health
profession council..i think) who can take away my licence if they want and check on if we’ve been
employed and still practicing before renewing our licence on a two yearly basis.

Organisation of the laboratory and routines ?

Different departments (biochem, haematology, microbiology, virology, cytology and histology) deal
with different tests and samples. All arrive into a general reception area. There then sorted
according to department by Medical laboratory assistants(MLA). Then processed by specialist MLA
for each department. They book in samples on

Pc and prepare samples (relabel, aliquot in tubes for sendaway tests, centrifuge samples) for testing
and bring them to correct section. BMS handle samples and load analysers with samples, check
processing, QCs, analyser performance. BMS then goes back to pc and check validity of results and
authorise them. Reports are then printed and checked by clinical scientists. We also have to phone
all abnormal results, any suspect samples (we suspect samples been contaminated by arm in drip or
                                                                                            Ishmael Saleh

originally put in the wrong coloured top tube, or deal with Drs and nurses queries about results. We
then authorise results on computer so dr and nurses can access them on the ward.

Reports of all results are printed and checked by clinical scientists (our equivalent of consultants) as
well as everything we do.

Forensic Science

A forensic science technician is a scientist who analyzes crime scene evidence. He or she is involved
in collecting, preserving, and testing pertinent evidence, and presenting findings to investigators or
judges in criminal trials. Forensic science technicians are typically employed by local, state, or federal
agencies to aid in the investigation of crimes and the pursuit of justice.

The primary concern of a forensic science technician is to determine the exact nature of a crime.
Technicians survey the aftermath at a crime scene and determine what may be relevant to the case.
They carefully gather and safeguard physical evidence, which might include firearms, blood, clothing,
fingerprints, or chemical substances. In addition, they record data and details of a crime scene, such
as ballistics information, in order to gain a more accurate picture of the crime.

Once physical evidence and data are collected, forensic scientists begin a detailed analysis process,
which often includes the use of highly specialized laboratory equipment. Computer proficiency is a
must for technicians: they perform background checks, retrieve archived information, and search
databases to match fingerprints and DNA samples. Forensic science technicians may also be required
to perform tests on weapons, including firearms, to determine if, how, and by whom certain
weapons were used. Technicians frequently work with other laboratory or medical specialists to
compound evidence and confirm information.

After lab testing is completed, a forensic science technician is typically required to prepare a detailed
lab report which documents testing methods and results. Technicians commonly meet with
investigators and police to discuss their findings, trade information, and give their opinions about a
case. When a case goes to trial, a technician who has uncovered pertinent evidence may be called on
to appear as an expert witness.


A biology technician supports scientists in tests and experiments in the field of life sciences. A person
in this position is often referred to as a laboratory assistant or technician, a biological technician or a
biological aide. Her work normally takes place in universities and colleges, and the bulk of it takes
place in laboratories. Some in this position may work for government or research organizations or in
private sector food, drug and chemical processing environments.

This position requires skills in all aspects of laboratory operations. The technician is commonly
required to gather all the materials a scientist needs to conduct experiments. Depending on the
nature of the research, this may require her to collect substances from other laboratories and
industries or from the environment. Typical materials required to conduct trials include samples of
animal flesh or fur and human or animal blood. Other research projects may necessitate the
collection of soil, water and certain types of drugs or food.
                                                                                          Ishmael Saleh

She is typically expected to have the correct tools to gather clean samples for transport in sterile
containers. If the materials require storage for future use, the technician is normally required to be
cognizant of the proper procedures to be followed. Failing to properly handle or store samples may
render the results of the experiment moot.

Other duties of a biology technician typically include calculating and analyzing the results of tests
and preparing charts or graphs of the results for analysis by scientists. She may also be required to
set up measuring and analytical devices for scientists to use in testing. At the end of the day, the
person in this position is frequently responsible for cleaning the laboratory and its equipment.

If the biology technician is experienced and appears highly proficient in her work, the scientist for
whom she works may permit her to conduct her own tests and trials. The scientist customarily
oversees her work and often provides guidance or commentary on the research. Based on her
performance, the technician may also be asked for her input on certain testing procedures and
conclusions of the scientist for whom she works.


A chemistry lab technician assists chemists in organizing, carrying out, and documenting various lab
experiments. Technicians have extensive formal education and training in their specialty, and
understand the details and importance of proper techniques. They operate sophisticated equipment
and perform complicated math equations to render accurate results. A chemistry
lab technician might work a university, private research lab, or the research and
development division of a chemical manufacturing plant.

Most chemistry lab technicians hold at least bachelor's degrees in chemistry or engineering, though
some labs employ students who are still working on their degrees. Extensive education is important
to provide a technician with a fundamental understanding of chemical properties and reactions.
A technician needs to be very familiar with the periodic table of elements, common ions and
compounds, and the physical and chemical changes that occur in various experiments. In addition,
college chemistry lab classes allow future technicians to become familiar with the equipment and
procedures they will utilize in their future careers.

A chemistry lab technician needs to be very organized and detail-oriented. Even the slightest
oversights can taint the results of an experiment, such as miscalculating the amount of initial
compounds or failing to heat a solution to the proper temperature. Since many experiments involve
handling and manipulating potentially hazardous chemicals, a technician must take care to follow
protocol and safety rules at all times to reduce the risk of injury. Depending on the type of
experiment being performed, the technician may need to wear gloves, protective goggles, and a
thick lab coat. The work of a technician is often stressful, though most professionals find the job very
interesting and rewarding.

In most labs, technicians are responsible for the majority of tasks related to preparing and carrying
out an experiment. A chemist may design and oversee an experiment, but a chemistry
lab technician typically does much of the actual hands-on work. Before a project, he or she cleans
tables and equipment, gathers supplies, and prepares standard lab reports. Following the
instructions or personal guidance of the chemist, the technician carefully conducts the experiment.
He or she records observations and outlines final results.
                                                                                       Ishmael Saleh

After a chemist has thoroughly reviewed and checked the findings, he or she may ask a chemistry
lab technician to compose an official document. Strong technical writing skills are important to
ensure that a paper presents accurate, easy-to-understand information. The technician may also be
involved in the process of submitting the paper to science journals for peer review and publication.

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