NHS Blood Test Services
Blood Testing is a simple, everyday procedure that most people will have to go through at some point in their lives.
Whether it’s to check your glucose level, to find out your cholesterol level or as a follow-up when someone is suspected of unfairly passing a hair drug test, taking a blood sample is more common than ever.
In some cases, GPs may simply refer patients straight to the practice nurse to take a quick sample. Other times they may be asked to come back at a convenient time for more specific testing.
Blood testing is vital for ruling out health problems and checking for underlying symptoms.
The blood test procedure itself is usually pretty quick, simple and painless.
The nurse will take the sample, apply some cotton wool to stem the bleeding and send the patient on their way. However, there are different precautions to take for different tests.
What Do Patients Need To Know Before Heading To The Nurse For A Test?
Blood-based medical tests in Europe can help doctors determine a range of different health issues. Most standard blood tests don’t require much in the way of special treatment but glucose, cholesterol and fasting lipids tests are different. A GP should be responsible for providing all the necessary information about blood testing and precautions. Most will talk patients through the procedures and requirements before the end of the consultation.
Most patients should continue to take their medication as instructed, with the following exceptions:
Digoxin cannot be taken less than six hours prior to testing
Medication that needs to be taken with food cannot be taken prior to a fasting blood test.
Fasting blood tests require patients to refrain from eating or drinking anything but tap water for a specific period. Patients testing for cholesterol and fasting lipids cannot eat less than 12 hours before the test. For glucose testing it is 10 hours.
Drop-In NHS Clinics Offer Blood Work And Medical Tests.
Some blood tests will require an appointment if there are other factors to consider or other tests to carry out. The glucose intolerance test, for example, can take two hours to complete. However, most tests can be carried out at drop-in clinics. Drop-in clinics are now an important part of medical testing in Europe and are used for basic tests and vaccinations. Patients can simply come in at a convenient time during opening hours, wait their turn and provide their sample.
It is important to remember that some times of the day will be busier than others and there is the chance that drop-in hours may change. This is worth consideration if the sample is urgently required or if the patient has any form of anxiety about the process. In these situations, a clear scheduled appointment with a nurse may be more convenient and less stressful. These appointments are also useful for children that may require more time than the short slots of a drop-in service. Responsible nurses will allocate longer appointments for children to help them with their concerns.
The More Prepared Patients Are For A Blood Test, The Better The Procedure.
Blood testing may require more thought and planning than some patients may initially expect. A drop-in test is not always the most convenient methods and there could be a need for fasting. However, GPs and drop-in clinic nurses are there to offer support and make the process as easy as possible.