Information overload

February 14, 2012

Blog written by laboratory staff IS

When I first started working at Fairfax Cryobank 3 years ago I remember the sheer information overload that came with being trained as a laboratory technician. The memorization needed for lab tasks alone is extensive: volume adjustments when accounting for semen viscosity, minimum requirements for motility, morphology and concentration needed for specimens to pass our high standards. It also entails figuring out when to order what tests for their blood draws based on how long they’ve been in the program, when their last physical was and so forth.

Lucky for us, we have a comprehensive system of controlled documents that detail everything that needs to be done and how it should be done. These documents are adaptable; as techniques improve or FDA guidelines change we update our standard operating procedures to reflect most up to date knowledge base. As the documents change the appropriate people are notified and trained on the changes.

As a senior laboratory tech, I now use this highly organized system of training to help new employees as they make their way through the science and protocols of semen processing. Most of the lab tasks have become second nature, but it is in the training of new employees that I am reminded how much I really have learned in my time here. Now when a new trainee looks wide eyed at the amount of information they have to learn I can tell them with confidence that they’ll get through it, I did!

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