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How to Effectively Obtain Urine Samples

Why are Urine Samples Needed?

Urine samples are useful for diagnosing medical conditions that can be determined by testing a person’s urine. Urine sample tests are common practices performed  to:

  • Determine the presence of drugs in the system.
  • Check a patient’s health status when he/she has been admitted in a healthcare facility.
  • Look for triggers of potential medical conditions while a clinical examination is being conducted.

Laboratory Personnel Requirements for Getting a Urine Sample

The first step towards obtaining a urine sample relies upon providing the individual with some sort of cup with a sealing capacity. This cup is needed to store the patient’s urine. Additionally, a description should be attached to the container, which should point out the following aspects of the  individual’s personal information:

  • Name
  • Medical Record Number
  • Date of birth

If any of the above  information is written incorrectly, it can result in negative consequences. To   prevent error, it is helpful to write the  information down while the patient is able to see what is being written.

After writing all the necessary content on the cup, the next step would be to complete the test requisition form. This form should be  completed as instructed by the healthcare facility.

All the necessary information should be instructed to the patient  to successfully obtain a urine sample. In the case that the patient is a minor, a conversation with the tutor, regarding the necessary steps to collect a urine sample should be conducted. It is important to adapt to the patient’s necessities and provide him/her with the essential equipment to fulfill the task. For instance, if the patient is a child, there is  special equipment available to help the tutor get the urine into the cup.

The laboratory personnel should exercise the following care when dealing with the urine sample:

  • Avoid coming into contact with the interior part of the cup.
  • Use equipment such as gloves when grabbing or performing any task that involves contact with the urine sample.
  • Wipe away any urine that might have spread to the exterior part of the cup.
  • Keep  hands in hygienic condition while managing the sample.
  • Make sure the hands of the patient are clean.

The Clean Catch Technique

There are a number of techniques used to obtain urine samples.  Some involve the employment of a catheter and the insertion of needles into the bladder. However, these practices affect healthy tissue and are rarely performed. A more commonly used technique is the clean catch technique which is known for safeguarding healthy tissue. This technique prevents contaminants such as bacteria, from getting into the sample and infecting it.

To obtain urine using the clean catch technique, there are some measurements that need to be taken into account. These measurements are necessary to ensure that the sample is completely free from contaminants. The following general care should be practiced by the patient, prior to clean catching a urine sample:

  • Make sure the external urethral orifice and the area around it  are in hygienic condition.
  • Pass some urine first and then, catch it once the flow has started.

To specify, if the patient is a man, he should:

  • Make sure the head of the penis is in hygienic condition,  by using cleansing products, including soap, sterile towelettes or cotton  submerged in antiseptic solutions.
  • Push back the prepuce  to clean the area effectively.  This is only necessary if he has gone through circumcision.

If the patient is a woman, she should:

  • Make sure the head of the labia is in hygienic condition by rubbing it with soap.
  • Clean the labia as well as the pudendum and the external urethral orifice with sterile towelettes or cotton  submerged in antiseptic solutions. This should be done once she has gone from a standing to a sitting position. It might be helpful to fully clean one area and then move to another section.
  • Clean the area from which feces comes out, in order to rule out the potential of contaminating the urine with it.
  •  Keep the vagina lips open while discharging.