Etiquette Guidelines

To be allowed to use the CTRC Specimen Processing and Storage facility, you must read the following information and complete the Etiquette Post Test.

The facility is for CTRC approved project use only. It is not open to the general public, and it is not safe for untrained personnel. If you don’t recognize somebody (and everybody should be wearing ID badges) ask them politely to identify themselves. If you don’t think they should be there, please inform the CTRC Charge Nurse who will check to assure they meet the requirements for lab use. Please also report any lab misconduct or problems immediately so that corrective action can be taken.

General Courtesy and Basic Safety

  • NO OPEN-TOED SHOES and NO food/beverages are allowed in the lab. Non-negotiable.
  • Please don’t set up transfer tubes or kits on the bench hours prior to use and then leave them unattended.
  • If you use the last of any general supplies (gloves, paper towels, etc.) please go get more! Just ask where, if you don’t know.
  • If the sharps container is full, get another. Please don’t overfill. Place only sharps in this container. Speculums, labels, etc. go in hazardous waste bins.
  • When you leave the processing area, remove gloves and wash your hands.
  • Leave all PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) properly stored in the lab.
  • Used PPE (even lab coats) should never be taken into office or food areas.
  • No gloves when using phone, computer, etc.
  • Please bring your own shipping containers and storage boxes.

Dry Ice

  • The dry ice in this lab is for CTRC registered protocols ONLY.
  • Dry ice chests must be securely closed and latched after use to prevent excess sublimation. Always double check after using.
  • When using dry ice for shipments requiring more than 2Kg, it is your responsibility to purchase your own dry ice or make arrangements with the CTRC. To make arrangements for your own delivery of dry ice, you may call National Welders at 919-544-9699. You will need to supply them with your department account number and delivery instructions.
  • If you notice anyone taking more ice than they should or someone taking ice that shouldn’t be, please notify the Charge Nurse.

Needle Stick and Exposure Injuries

If you are working in or around the lab with patient samples, and you inadvertently stick yourself with a contaminated needle or get splashed with a contaminated substance such as blood, urine, or feces, you should wash the affected area with warm soapy water or use the eye wash station located in the lab, if the substance is in direct contact with your eyes or facial area.

Once you have thoroughly cleansed the area you are responsible for call the Exposure Hot Line at 919.966.9119 and you will be given further instruction from the nurse what to do next in accordance with university policy. You will need to fill out an incident report and give a copy to the Janette Goins, Director of Nursing. These forms will be provided to you by EHS. It is your responsibility to report all exposure injuries to EHS in order to receive appropriate care post-exposure.

Please review the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic website contained in Environmental Health and Safety to become familiarized with this section before planning to use the Investigator Lab.

Please clean up after yourself

  • Dispose of all used hCG tests
  • Dispose of all blood tubes and urines
  • Disinfect all surfaces using Sani-Wipes or other approved cleaning products.
  • Remember to properly label all containers in the lab, including your name, contents, open date, and CTRC study #.
  • SDS sheets are required for every chemical and it must be added to the CTRC chemical inventory list. Refer to Specimen Storage SOP.

Freezer Alarms

  • If you are working in or around the Investigator Lab and you hear the alarm go off or have caused the alarm to go off, please check to make sure the door is closed tight and check the temperature setting. DO NOT open the door unless there is something preventing the door from closing and securing properly.
  • Once you have secured the door please notify the Charge Nurse and ask them to manually turn off the alarm and follow-up with maintenance, if the temperature remains outside the prescribed range.
  • If you are in the lab after regular operating hours, please notify one of the inpatient nurses or the admin person on call by paging 919-216-6991 so that they can initiate the call back procedure for freezer alarms.


  • If it’s not yours, don’t move it.
  • If you have to move it to get to your sample, put it back where you found it.
  • Boxes must be used and have a label AND be logged on the forms posted on the -80 freezer, as well.
  • Samples may only be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • ALL tubes and containers in this lab MUST be labeled and in the log book if they are in the freezer.
  • ALL samples MUST be in approved storage boxes (i.e. no bags or tube racks).

Centrifuge use

  • Don’t start a centrifuge and leave before it’s up to speed.
  • As a courtesy, ask others if they want to share the spin.
  • Do NOT fill both centrifuges if other people are waiting to use them.
  • Don’t leave items in the centrifuge after a run. Figure out when the run will end and plan to return. Leave a note with your contact information if you must leave centrifugation or any lab process unattended for more than 5 minutes.

Thank you for reviewing this material. To be allowed to use the lab, you must complete the Etiquette Post Test.