Life in the Lab – Microbiology Team Leader

Part of my Life in the Lab Series.

Here I summarise what each of my scientific roles have entailed.

As a Microbiology Team Leader (non sterile laboratory), what does the day entail?

08:30 hrs – Start shift

  • Check how everyone is going today
  • Determine what needs to be done in next two months and delegate
  • Spot check equipment calibration labels
  • Conduct sampling of Purified Water system if short staffed
  • Followup with other departments regarding on going projects
  • Update documentation or delegate and meet with subject matter experts
  • Check and signoff on environmental monitoring data (worksheets) or delegate
  • Ensure any followup sampling has been completed, if not find out why and reschedule
  • Interview prospective staff

10:30hrs – 15 minute break

  • Check how everyone is going
  • Validation and introduction of equipment such as dust containment hoods and flammable liquid containers
  • After developing, deliver special training to production, eg Microbiology for non-microbiologists
  • Conduct antibiotic potency testing if short staffed (also method trouble shooting)
  • Read and record viable environmental monitoring results if short staffed
  • Train staff in sampling techniques or delegate
  • Pursue special projects or delegate
  • Sign off on environmental monitoring data
  • Delegate the testing of “urgent samples” and manage expectations of requestor
  • Meet with product representatives
  • Schedule and chair regional meeting of microbiologists as part of information sharing and method harmonisation
  • Conduct performance reviews of team

12:30hrs – 45 minute lunch

  • Check how everyone is going
  • Schedule or delegate external testing
  • Review the regulations for gaps and improvements
  • Formulate media if short staffed
  • Meeting with production managers, supervisor and filling room staff as part of out of specification results investigation
  • Write investigation reports
  • Deliver training to team (routine and special)
  • Conduct investigative monitoring or delegate
  • Investigate and report on environmental monitoring trends

15:30hrs – 15 minute break

  • Check how everyone is going
  • Attend site consolidation project meetings
  • Conduct internal audit (about every 6 months based on schedule)
  • Ensure OH&S is being followed (this is a constant thing every time I enter then lab)
  • Continue tasks from earlier in the day
  • Contribute to yearly budget
  • Catch up meeting with lab manager
  • Travel to other company sites in same city for meetings
  • Examine training status of team and schedule training / update records
  • Issue updated documentation and train staff if training required
  • Determine if tasks scheduled for tomorrow
  • Determine if there is anything that needs the later afternoon shift or night shift to be aware of

17:00 – Depart for home

Roles Held

Microbiology TechnicianMicrobiology AnalystSenior Microbiologist aka “Microbiology Officer”Quality Assurance Microbiologist – Non Sterile Microbiology Team Leader