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Study Notes: Making a Decision

As a laboratory technician you will be expected to be able to work unsupervised, be proactive in your work and to make decisions on your own regarding workflows, ordering, dealing with faulty equipment, customer service etc.

Using the faulty microscope as an example, this Study Note follows the decision making process that you could go through.

Let us assume that you have checked all the simple things such as whether the microscope is turned on and set up correctly.

Decision Number One:
Check the maintenance records for the microscope as this may give you some ideas on how to proceed. The maintenance record is shown below and reveals that the lamp was replaced yesterday and also about three months ago. Is a pattern emerging?

Also decide if a lack of recent regular cleaning has contributed to the problem. You may need to consult with other staff members to determine this.

Decision Number Two:
Check with Trevor to see if he saw anything unusual when he replaced the bulb yesterday. Did he install the correct bulb following the correct procedures? Maybe the bulb used yesterday was faulty?

Decision Number Three:
Replace the bulb but only after checking that the required spare parts (the bulb and possibly the fuse) are available in the store and that you know how to relace them safely and accurately by accessing a copy of MTH 50 SOP: Changing a Microscope Bulb or Fuse before proceeding.

Decision Number Four:
Decide whether you need help or advice after reading the SOP. If so, seek that assistance.

Decision Number Five:
Have a fall-back plan if replacing the bulb does not rectify the problem. For instance:

  • try another bulb
  • replace the fuse
  • send microscope to the manufacturer for repairs. It may still be under warranty.
SL Equipment Number:  1213 Service Log
 
Type of Equipment:   Optical Microscope
 
Summary of Records to be kept in this Service Log:
 
Set-up and Pre-use Checks: Daily - Only discrepancies recorded
Safety Checks: Daily - Only discrepancies recorded
Calibration Checks: Weekly - Details recorded
Metcalfe Servicing: Quarterly and malfunctions - Details recorded
 
DATE EVENT COMMENTS BY
3/2/04 Installation after purchase Microscope Operative Metcalfe
11/2/04 Cleaning Microscope OK Max
18/2/04 Cleaning Microscope OK Colin
25/2/04 Cleaning Microscope OK Colin
27/2/04 Set-up and pre-use Replace bulb Trevor
28/3/04 Cleaning Microscope OK Colin
29/5/04 Quarterly Service Microscope Operative Metcalfe
Yesterday Set-up and pre-use check Replace bulb Trevor

 

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