doctor has written you a request form, there are a number of
questions you may have regarding your tests.
Whilst the majority of our tests are from blood samples, other
tests may be performed on samples of tissue, urine, stools (faeces)
or other body fluids and secretions.
Below are some answers to some commonly asked questions:
• What do I need to bring
for my test?
• Do I
need to fast?
• What does 'fasting' involve?
• Do I
still take my medications?
need to have a blood test - what does this involve?
• I am
nervous about having my blood taken - is it really necessary?
I at risk of catching anything by having my blood taken?
have to give a urine/sputum/stool test - how do I do
• How do I
know that my samples will not be mixed up in the
• I have
very difficult veins. How can I be sure your collectors can get the
• I have
recently had major surgery and cannot get to a collection centre.
How can I get my test done?
• When will my
results be ready?
• My child needs a
blood test. What should I do?
• Do I need to make an
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING FOR MY
Please bring your Capital Pathology Request Form and your
Medicare card with you.
If you have a pension card, Health Care card or a Veteran's
Affairs card, please show these to your collector. This will enable
us to bill you correctly.
DO I NEED TO
Not all tests require fasting beforehand. However, there are some
tests which will require you to fast for 8 - 12 hours, for example
cholesterol, lipids, fasting glucose. Fasting should not exceed 12
hours. For these tests we recommend that you fast overnight. You
can drink water during this time and take any medication you would
normally take, unless advised otherwise by your doctor. Your doctor
will inform you of any tests that require fasting or you may
contact Capital Pathology for advice.
See also -
WHAT DOES "FASTING"
If fasting is required, you should not have anything to eat for 8
- 12 hours before your test. You may drink water only, and
encourage you to drink water before your test to ensure you are
well hydrated. Unless advised by your doctor you should take all
If you are diabetic or have any concerns, please contact your
doctor before fasting.
Please notify us if you have fasted for longer than 12 hours as
prolonged fasting may affect your results.
DO I STILL TAKE MY
Your doctor will advise if you are to stop taking your medication.
Please check with your doctor if you are unsure.
Some tests require your
medication to be withheld until after specimen collection. Please
contact your collection centre
specific collection requirements.
I NEED TO HAVE A
BLOOD TEST- WHAT DOES THIS INVOLVE?
A blood test involves taking blood from a vein in your arm. Our
specimen collection staff are extensively trained in this skill. We
ensure all of our equipment is sterile.
It is vital that we make sure all of your personal details are
correct. Our staff will ask for your name, date birth and Medicare
number, and they will also check your contact details, the
doctor's details and other questions that are specific to the
testing (for example "Have you fasted for 10 - 16 hours?") Please
let our staff know if you are on a pension or Health Care
It is important that we obtain all of this information on each
occasion, even if you are a regular patient, to ensure that we have
the correct information on our records. It is helpful if you can
let us know if you have moved. This will assist us to maintain one
consistent record on each patient.
Once your details have been confirmed, the specimen collector will
examine your arm to find a suitable vein. If you feel
uncomfortable, please do not hesitate to inform our collector. You
may prefer to lie down if you are feeling faint or nervous.
Once a suitable vein is found, the collector will cleanse the skin
with an alcohol swab and then insert a sterile needle into your
vein to obtain the sample.
Different tubes are required for different types of tests, so
there may be more than one tube of blood collected. All tubes will
be labelled with your name and date of birth.
After the blood has been drawn and the needle has been removed,
pressure should be applied to the site to minimise bleeding. A
cotton wool ball and/or bandaid will be applied. If you are aware
of any allergic reactions to alcohol swabs or tapes please let our
collector know and we will find an alternative.
It is important that you avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise
in the following 24 hours to avoid bruising or bleeding.
If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact
us prior to attending one of our collection centres or discuss them
with our collectors.
I AM NERVOUS ABOUT HAVING MY BLOOD
TAKEN - IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?
Our collection staff are extensively trained and will endeavour to
make you feel at ease. We encourage you to lie down for the
procedure if you are feeling uncomfortable. Relaxation techniques
such as deep breathing may also prove helpful. Please inform our
collection staff if you are feeling nervous or anxious so that we
may assist you with the procedure.
Your doctor has requested the pathology tests to be carried out.
If you are concerned about the necessity of these tests, we
encourage you to discuss this with your doctor.
AM I AT RISK OF
CATCHING ANYTHING BY HAVING MY BLOOD TAKEN?
No. It is the policy of Capital Pathology to utilise single use
sterile equipment when taking blood samples from patients. Our
specimen collection staff are trained in infection control.
I HAVE TO GIVE A
URINE/ SPUTUM/STOOL TEST - HOW DO I DO THIS?
As tests vary, the collectors will give you written instructions
on how to collect the sample. If you have any further questions
please do not hesitate to contact us.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY SAMPLES
WILL NOT BE MIXED UP IN THE LABORATORY?
Our collection staff will confirm your details with you at every
visit. This is to ensure we have all the correct information. Each
sample is carefully labelled immediately after collection, before
you leave the collection centre. A laboratory number is given to
your request form and samples to ensure they are not mixed up. This
number is unique and assists to ensure that the correct tests are
performed on each sample. We have other checks in place throughout
the testing procedure to ensure the testing is performed at the
highest possible standard.
I HAVE VERY DIFFICULT
VEINS. HOW CAN I BE SURE YOUR COLLECTORS CAN GET THE
All of our collection staff are extensively trained. They learn
how to take samples from a comprehensive range of patients,
including those with 'difficult' veins.
Our collection staff are advised to only have two attempts at
taking your blood. You may be requested to return at a later time
if we are unsuccessful. Although this may seem inconvenient, it
aims to reduce the risk of any problems and minimise discomfort for
If you have any concerns about having your sample taken, we
encourage you to contact us before attending our centres.
I HAVE RECENTLY HAD
MAJOR SURGERY AND CANNOT GET TO A COLLECTION ROOM. HOW CAN I GET MY
To ensure the highest level of patient care, we encourage all
patients to visit their closest collection centre. These are
conveniently located around the Canberra and Southern NSW area
and are listed on the back of the request form.
Your doctor may request that our domiciliary collectors visit your
home - this is a limited service for those patients with a genuine
WHEN WILL MY RESULTS BE
Routine test results are generally available within 2-3 days of
collection. However, some testing is more involved and may take
longer. To assist you in organising an appointment with your
doctor, we encourage you to ask your doctor when the results will
MY CHILD NEEDS A BLOOD TEST. WHAT
SHOULD I DO?
Some of our staff are more experienced at collecting samples from
small children under six years of age. If you are bringing your
child along for a blood test, we would suggest that you contact us
to arrange an appointment at a time and collection
centre when an appropriately experienced collector will be
DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?
Most routine pathology tests do not require an appointment.
However, the following tests do require an appointment:
• Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)
• Helicobacter Breath Test (HBT)
• Holter Monitors (HM)
• 24 Hour Blood Pressures (BP)
• Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Appointments are available at most Collection Centres, with some
offering early morning appointments for patients who are required
to fast. Please note for your convenience that appointments at most
centres can be made for any time. Please contact your preferred
Collection Centre directly to organise appointment.