Can Urgent care centers provide Lab services?
Your doctor may request some lab tests when you visit an urgent care facility in order to determine what is causing you to feel unwell. Although your doctor will always pay close attention to your complaints and conduct a thorough physical examination, there are times when this information is insufficient for a diagnosis or effective treatment.
You don’t want your doctor to make a hunch about what is ailing you. By enabling them to see what is occurring inside your body, lab tests can help your urgent care doctor narrow down the exact problem. You can receive a more precise diagnosis once the lab results are in.
Common labs at urgent care clinics
Your urgent care physician may recommend a number of tests depending on your symptoms. However, complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis, and antigen testing are the three lab procedures that are most frequently performed in an urgent care facility.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
One of the most typical tests your doctor might order is a complete blood count, or CBC for short. A blood sample from an arm vein is typically used to perform the CBC. This examination examines the various elements of your blood, such as your platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells.
Doctors are frequently most concerned with your white blood count when you are ill. To combat various infections, specific white blood cell types will increase. If you have cold symptoms and visit an urgent care facility (and your Covid test is negative), your doctor may request a CBC to determine whether your symptoms are brought on by a virus, bacterial infection, or even allergies. Your doctor can offer you targeted treatment that can make you feel better once they have identified the source of your symptoms.
Your doctor can also learn a lot from the additional data in your CBC. Your doctor can also determine the volume, density, and size of your red blood cells as well as the proportion of red blood cells in your blood (hematocrit). Results from an abnormal RBC test may point to additional common issues like anemia or a B12 deficiency.
There’s no need to feel ashamed if your doctor requests a urinalysis. A lab test called a urinalysis examines the elements in your urine. You will typically be asked to urinate in a small cup in a private bathroom inside the doctor’s office for a urinalysis.
Despite the fact that urine is typically flushed away, it actually contains a wealth of information about your body’s internal processes. When the lab technician examines your urine, they are looking at
Your urine should be clear and a light shade of yellow. Unusual urine may smell strangely, appear cloudy or foamy, or contain visible blood.
The pH of your urine will be measured by your lab using a dipstick to determine its composition. They will also check for the presence of leukocytes, proteins, sugar, ketones, and blood.
Microscopic Particles: In this test, your lab is looking for things that are invisible to other observers. The laboratory will use a microscope to look for red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, and crystals in a highly concentrated sample of your urine.
If you have a fever but no other symptoms, experience pain when urinating, have difficulty urinating, or exhibit other symptoms suggestive of a urinary tract infection, your doctor may order a urinalysis. A urinary tract infection or kidney stones may be present if a urinalysis shows abnormal results. For people with diabetes, urinalysis can be used as a screening or monitoring tool. The need for additional testing may be indicated by some abnormal urinalysis results.
Antigen tests are familiar to you if you’ve ever had a rapid COVID-19 testing. Rapid diagnostic results for Covid-19, the flu, and strep are provided by antigen tests. These tests look for particular antigens for these diseases, which your body will produce antibodies to. Each disease has a different set of these antigens.
Swabbing the affected area to collect a sample of mucus is the standard procedure for antigen testing. A throat swab is used for a rapid strep test while a nasal swab is used for flu and Covid-19 tests. Results for antigen tests are typically available in about fifteen minutes after this sample has been analyzed in the laboratory.
A Covid-19 test will only look for Covid-19 antigens, and a flu test will only look for flu antigens because antigen tests are very specific. If you actually have the flu, you won’t unintentionally test positive on the Covid. Antigen tests hardly ever result in a false positive, in fact.
Confirmatory testing is frequently used because these tests occasionally result in a false negative. If you’ve ever heard a physician, say, “Your rapid strep test was negative, but we’re also going to do a culture on your sample,” they are informing you that they are conducting additional testing to validate the findings of your antigen test.
When you’re sick, it’s okay if your urgent care physician requests some lab work. Laboratory testing is a useful diagnostic tool that can assist your doctor in providing you with the best care so that you can recover quickly.
3 reasons to choose urgent care for lab testing
Most routine tests that your doctor orders can be completed at an urgent care facility. An excellent urgent care facility can perform any procedure, including blood tests and EKG diagnostics, without any hassle.
No one enjoys sitting in a waiting room, regardless of how many magazines are available. With online check-in, there is hardly any wait time at an urgent care facility! One of the best benefits of urgent care becoming a viable healthcare option is the reduction in waiting times, and receiving lab services and quick blood test results is no exception.
The cost of urgent care contributes to its greatness. Urgent care facilities are typically much less expensive than emergency rooms. Naturally, there’s no guarantee that your insurance will be accepted, but the likelihood is very high. However, even without insurance, going to an urgent care rather than a hospital will save you a lot of money.