Laboratory testing is a critical component of treatment and plays an important role in diagnosing and managing many medical conditions. It usually involves getting a sample of a patient’s blood, urine, saliva, or throat culture to be analyzed for the presence of certain bacteria or viruses. For lab testing to be effective and useful, there are usually some things that patients should do beforehand, depending on the type of test to be performed. Let’s talk about some of the things you can do to boost your test results.
#1 Follow Preparation Instructions
Before your laboratory test, your healthcare provider may provide you with specific instructions to prepare for the test. Follow these instructions carefully, as they can impact the accuracy of your test results. For example, for bloodwork for a complete metabolic panel, you need to fast beforehand. Patients are usually required to fast for at least eight hours before a metabolic panel and to not engage in strenuous physical exercise beforehand so as not to interfere with the results regarding electrolyte levels, blood glucose levels, calcium and protein levels, and kidney and liver function.
#2 Learn About the Test
You can ask the provider about what the test entails. For example, an occult blood test, which tests for the presence of blood in the stool that is invisible to the naked eye, involves the collection of a stool sample with a device. The stool sample is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. This is used if colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal bleeding, or inflammatory bowel disease is suspected. Usually, a follow-up test is ordered for an accurate diagnosis.
#3 Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions
If you have any questions or concerns about the laboratory test, don’t hesitate to ask the medical provider. They can provide you with the information you need about the specific test and address any concerns you may have. For instance, if you are scared of needles, let your provider know. Today, blood draws can be performed with you feeling virtually nothing at all – it really depends on the skill of the laboratory testing provider. There are also relaxation techniques you can do to remain calm during the test.
#4 Inform the Test Provider About Your Health
If you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications, inform the provider before the test. For instance, if you have diabetes and are taking insulin injections, fasting may cause you to experience negative symptoms. The provider can give you specific instructions to prevent low blood sugar levels on the day of your test and still have accurate results from laboratory testing.
#5 Follow Post-Test Instructions
After the test, your healthcare provider may or may not provide you with specific instructions. Some tests do not require follow-up, especially if the results were found to be normal. If the results are inconclusive, or if the results are suspicious, the provider may request further testing or monitoring.
Lab Testing Services in Rochester, NY
Cornerstone Urgent Care Center offers a wide range of laboratory tests, from blood glucose testing to a complete metabolic panel. We have an in-house laboratory team, which allows us to provide quick results and get started on your treatment soon. Since we are a walk-in clinic, there is no need to make an appointment. To ask about our laboratory testing services, call our office today at (585) 207-0088. Otherwise, you can proceed to our location at 2968 Chili Avenue whenever you need medical care. We look forward to serving you!