Lab tests are proving to be increasingly useful in detecting different diseases or conditions. A doctor diagnoses and provides treatment based on the results of the diagnostic tests. Laboratory tests are medical processes that involve collecting samples of blood, urine, stool, swab etc. analysing them and reporting the results for the medical practitioner.
Due to diagnostic tests, the doctor can identify changes in your health before any symptoms begin to manifest. These laboratory tests help the doctor plan an accurate and targeted form of treatment to solve the health problem. With the help of these tests, the doctor can also evaluate your response to a particular treatment and change his or her approach, if necessary. The doctor can also monitor the condition of a patient through these diagnostic tests.
Here are the 5 steps you should take before visiting a diagnostic center:
- Being proactive with diagnostic tests – If you are sick for quite some time now, and aren’t really healthy, visit a doctor. Keep a record of your symptoms. If your doctor suggests you to get a diagnostic test done, visit a diagnostic center. Being proactive with your health, you can take a complete blood count (CBC) test and other tests that your doctor recommends for your age. If you are proactive and regularly take laboratory tests, in order to track your health, you are in a position to control your health. It works as a preventative measure because in case any unfavourable thing is detected, you can treat the health condition treated before it becomes worse. Even health insurance companies are happy to extend insurance on a lower premium if you prove that you had a complete health check done with no complications. So, the very first step you should take before visiting a diagnostic center is that you should be in a state of mind that says that you want to do the diagnostic test, rather than being obliged to do it.
- Find out what kind of tests are available – Diagnostic centers are dime a dozen now. Ideally, you should go for a reputed diagnostic center known for accurate and safe health practices with high emphasis on sanitation and customer service. There are many diagnostic services centers which offer discounts for being repeat customers. At times, certain packages of testing are bundled together and offered at discounted prices. Find out how many types of tests are available at the center. Check if all tests or the ones that you want to do are done in the same pathology center or outsourced to another lab. Also, it is better if the diagnostic center is closer to your home or workplace.
- Fasting before the blood test – One of the key components of a diagnostic test that a doctor usually asks you to do is the Fasting Plasma Glucose test. This test is used as a diabetic screening Ideally, you should not eat or drink anything except for water, at least eight to ten hours before the test, the next morning. The test is used to check fluctuations in the glucose/sugar levels. Another blood sample is taken 2 hours after the meal that follows the first blood test.
- Taking the blood sample – The phlebotomist draws out blood by locating your vein and inserting a needle into it. The most common way to extract the sample is through the arm. While some are fine with the testing process, others are scared of the needle being inserted into the body. If you have such apprehension, you may choose not to look at the needle. Let the phlebotomist know about your phobia and he can definitely help by positioning the needle away from your sight. Else, he can chat you up so that you are diverted from the sensation of the needle prick.
- Health Insurance benefits – There are some health insurance companies that are ready to pay for your medical tests if you have not claimed insurance for the first few years. Check with your health insurance company if they provide such benefits.
Nowadays you can also check the laboratory tests results online. You do not even have to go a diagnostic center; there are options available for home sample collection, as well. Contact your nearest lab testing center for more information.