UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Lab Test Information

How do I prepare for a test?

Many tests do not require any special preparation. Your doctor may choose to limit certain medications or ask you not to
eat or drink anything before the procedure, to assure an accurate result. If your doctor has ordered a special test, such as a Glucose Tolerance Test, make sure that you or your doctor has scheduled an appointment.

How will the blood test feel?

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or a throbbing sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing. Veins vary in size from one person to another, and from one side of the body to the other. Taking a sample from some people may be more difficult than from others. Tell the staff in advance if you think that you may become weak during the procedure.

What about homecare after the test?

After one hour remove your bandage. Minor bruising and tenderness in the area of the venipuncture is normal. If you are experiencing redness, swelling, or intense pain please contact your personal physician or call My Nurse at 1-877-242-8899.

When will my doctor get my test results?

Most routine tests are done here in our laboratory and can be completed and reported to your physician (provider) within 24-48 hours. Other, specialized tests must be sent to outside laboratories; this may lengthen the turnaround time.

How do I get copies of my laboratory results?

The best way to get your test results is from your ordering physician (provider). Your physician will be able to explain the
results and how they relate to your overall medical health. The laboratory will ONLY give outpatient test results directly to the patient with written authorization from the ordering physician. Along with written authorization, you will receive a Unique 4-digit Identification Number and Personal Identification Number (PIN) that must be presented either in person or over the phone to receive your laboratory results. Please ask laboratory staff for more information.