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Preparing for a clinical laboratory test

  • What laboratory tests are being performed, and what do they test for?

  • Why does the testing need to be done?

  • What type of specimen is needed for testing?

  • Is fasting required for any of the tests ordered? If so, how long should I fast?

  • Should I continue to take my current medications or herbal supplements?

  • When can I expect to hear about my lab test results?

If fasting is required for testing, follow provider instructions for length of time. 

While fasting, it is important to remain hydrated.  Proper hydration is essential for a successful phlebotomy procedure.  Unless specifically instructed not to do so by your provider, be sure to drink plenty of water. 

Consult with your provider about the medications you are currently taking, including supplements and other over-the-counter medications, before making any changes to your routine prior to having laboratory tests performed.

If you are bringing your specimen to the lab, there may be special instructions for the collection or transportation of the specimen. If you are not certain if special preparation is required, contact your provider's office or the laboratory for instructions.

If you did not follow the preparation instructions you received, let the staff at the patient service center know upon your arrival and prior to specimen collection.