Lab tests are one of the most important steps in medical care because they help show what even the most trained human eye simply can’t see or know from physical observation alone. Laboratory tests are various medical devices that are used to get samples of blood, urine, or other tissues or substances from the body. They can be used for several things, including identifying changes in your health condition before symptoms are present, diagnosing a disease or condition, planning medical treatment, evaluating your response to treatment, and monitoring the course of a disease over time.
So, how are lab tests analyzed? While the exact process changes based upon what test is being performed, each sample taken from the body is always sent to a laboratory, where those samples are then tested to get clues about your condition. Some tests show whether or not your results fall within normal ranges, other lab tests show whether a particular substance is absent or present, and there are also tests that tell doctors precisely whether a patient does or doesn’t have a specific health problem. Many factors can affect the results of lab tests, including the sex, age, race, medical history, and general health of the patient.
Some of the most common lab tests that doctors perform include:
- CBC (Complete Blood Count)
- BMP (Basal Metabolic Panel)
- CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel)
- Blood glucose
- Electrolyte Panel
- Rapid strep tests
- Rapid flu tests and influenza test
- STD Testing
- Pregnancy tests
- Drug tests
If you don’t want to wait for weeks to have a lab test performed, or pay high costs at an ER, you can go to an urgent care center.