A brief guide to pathology tests
Getting a pathology test is often a necessary part of life when your doctor needs to examine the contents of your bodily fluids. This can be done for many reasons, including to identify a nutritional imbalance, a disease or a sexually transmitted infection.
Getting bloodwork or performing a urine test can often be a daunting experience for people, especially if they are testing for an issue like a sexually transmitted infection that might be embarrassing for the patient. However, these kinds of tests are essential in identifying several serious and life-threatening conditions, so they should be taken seriously.
If you don’t have much experience with getting pathology tests, take note of the following.
One of the most complex aspects of getting a pathology test is when you are required to fast (abstain from eating) for a certain period of time in the lead up to the test. This normally means you can’t consume food or beverages (water is still ok) for up to 8 to 12 hours before the test is due to take place.
Don’t forget to hydrate
As mentioned above, water is still fine to drink in the lead up to your pathology test as it is not going to have an impact on your readings – but many people don’t know this and assume they shouldn’t drink water. Drinking water prior to a pathology test is going to ensure your blood flows smoothly and is easier for the phlebotomist to draw and will also make performing urine tests easier as you will have a full bladder.
Sometimes the vein the phlebotomist needs to draw blood from will be ‘shy’, or generally harder to get access to. The phlebotomist might do things like tightening the tourniquet a little more or place a warm pad on your skin to help coax the vein out.
Fear and fainting
Of course, a fear of needles, blood, and clinical testing that mixes the two can be scary for many people who have a phobia about one or all of these things. If you are someone who faints easily at the sight of blood, or simply can’t stand needles, then make sure you let the phlebotomist know beforehand so they can take steps to make the process easier for you.
Sometimes they might need only to use some soothing words or keep the needle out of your line of sight. They may even ask to position you in such a way that, if you do faint, you won’t hit the floor and injure yourself. Remember; their mission is to extract blood from you in the most hygienic, safe and painless way possible.
Sometimes getting any kind of pathology test can be very awkward for a patient, especially if they are testing for a sexually transmitted infection where the topic of their sexual activity becomes relevant. For some people, even handing a small jar of their own urine to a specialist is a cringeworthy ordeal.
The best thing to remember is that this is all taking place in a professional, clinical setting where the people handling your bodily fluids honestly couldn’t care less about your sexual habits or whatever other lifestyle factors may need you to get a pathology test.
You can use Instant Consult to access online pathology tests from a fully qualified Australian doctor, all from the comfort of home!
by Instant Consult