The lab provides testing services to many parts of our Hospital. Blood and other specimens are routinely sent to the lab from the patient floors, the emergency department, the operating room and the intensive-care unit. After the tests are conducted in the lab, the results are sent immediately to the physician overseeing the patient involved.
Virtually every one of us has had blood drawn for testing. Have you ever wondered what happens to your blood in the lab? The following questions and answers should provide some information about why and how blood tests are done.
A Clinical laboratory testing plays a crucial role in detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Blood tests are a tool doctors use for a variety of purposes. With the results, they can confirm a suspected disease, follow the course of a chronic disease, appropriately determine the effect of therapy, or screen for potential health problems during a routine physical exam.
A The person who actually draws the blood from your arm is called a Phlebotomist. He or she specializes in taking blood, and is an expert at doing it as safely and painlessly as possible. The person who conducts the tests on your blood are Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, also known as Medical Technologists and Technicians. They have received extensive training and work to ensure your blood is tested accurately. A lab Pathologist analyzes any unusual test results, and reports back to your doctor.
A Clinical laboratory personnel examine and analyze body fluids, tissues and cells. They look for bacteria, parasites or other micro-organisms; analyze the chemical content of fluids; match blood for transfusions, and test for drug levels in the blood to show how a patient is responding to treatment. They also prepare specimens for examination, count cells and look for abnormal cells. They use automated equipment and instruments that perform a number of tests simultaneously, as well as microscopes, cell counters and other kinds of sophisticated laboratory equipment to perform tests. Then they analyze the results and relay them to physicians.
A The blood is stored in the lab for one week, in case your physician wants to order an additional test. Then the blood samples are disposed of according to government safety regulations (OSHA guidelines).
TESTING There are many tests that can be done to reveal a wide range of things about your health. Several tests are probably being done at the same time; one test alone may not give your doctor substantial evidence to evaluate a particular health condition. For more information concerning lab tests, visit Lab Tests Online. This web site will give you descriptions of the lab tests ordered by physicians, as well as an explanation of why these tests are usually ordered.
The following are some examples of tests that may be performed:
Chemistry: Chemistry is the science of dealing with composition and properties of substances. Examples of tests performed for chemistry include glucose, cholesterol, potassium, uric acid and amylase to name a few.
Coagulation: The balance between the forces which act to stimulate the formation of thrombin and the forces which tend to delay its formation or inhibit its action. This balance maintains blood in its fluid state. Examples of tests performed for coagulation include protimes, partial prothrombin times, coagulation factors, d-dimers and fibrinogen.
Virology: Virology is the study of viruses and virus diseases. Examples of Virology tests are RSV (respiratory synctial virus) and Influenza A.
Microbiology: Microbiology is the study of bacteria that cause disease. Tests are performed on wounds, urine and body fluids to determine the presence of bacterial infections.
Hematology: Hematology is the study of the blood and its diseases. Tests performed for hematology are white (WBC) and red (RBC) blood cell counts, hemoglobin, WBC differential count, hematocrit and platelet count.
Immunology: Immunology is the branch of medicine dealing with antigens and antibodies. Examples of tests performed are the tests for mononucleosis, rubella and VDRL.
Urology: Urology is the study of the urinary system and its diseases. Examples of Urology tests are urinalysis and microalbumin.
Blood Bank The Blood Bank is a place where whole blood or blood plasma is typed, processed and stored for future use. Tests performed include ABO and Rh blood compatibility studies.
The Laboratory offers Comprehensive Laboratory Testing by appointment, including Urine Drug Screening and Breath Alcohol.
Some of the Hospital's Outreach Facilities are also available to our patients for having their lab tests drawn. These include Brook Health Center and Wheatfield Health Centre. If you are closer to either of those sites, you may go there to have your labs drawn. A courier will pick up lab work daily and bring it to the Hospital.
Franciscan Health Rensselaer 's Laboratory Department also provides services to our area nursing home and extended care facilities, including George Ade in Brook and Rensselaer Care Center in Rensselaer. The Lab also hosts high school Health Occupation students, to assist them in career exploration. The Lab is on hand at various health fairs throughout the year, where testing is provided for cholesterol, PSA screening and glucose.
If you need further information regarding lab services at Franciscan Health Rensselaer , please call 219-866-5141, extension 2071.
Monday - Friday from
8 am - 4 pm (CST)
8 am - 2 pm (CST)