A specimen is a sample or part of a thing, or of several things, taken to show or
to determine the characteristics of the whole. The physician or laboratory specialist can
determine causes of illnesses or conditions of patients by diagnosing samples. They
can also provide preventive measures of certain illnesses by diagnostic process of
cultures and samples. Specimen is often taken of urine, stool, blood, and for
pathological examination of tissues, organs, and organisms.
COLLECTING A STERILE URINE SPECIMEN
a. General. A sterile urine specimen can be obtained either by inserting a
straight catheter into the urinary bladder and removing urine or by obtaining a specimen
from the port of an indwelling catheter using sterile technique. Urine from the
dependent drainage bag should not be used for a specimen, since it is not fresh and
would not reflect accurate test results. Residual urine, urine left in the bladder after
voiding, can be measured at the time of catheterization. The patient voids, and
catheterization is performed within 10 minutes. If more than 60 ml of urine remains in
the bladder, this is residual urine and the patient may need to have an indwelling
catheter inserted. The medical nurse must prepare the patient by explaining which type
of urine specimen will be collected. It is important to relieve any anxiety by assuring the
patient that there should be no discomfort during the procedure if the patient will remain
relaxed: the patient should experience only mild pressure as the catheter is inserted
and will feel nothing when urine is collected from the catheter port.
b. Important Points.
Have all supplies ready for the patient to perform the procedure.
(2) Make certain the patient understands the proper procedure for collecting
the urine specimen.
(3) Be certain the specimen is labeled correctly: patient's name, room
number, date, physician, and type of specimen.
Read physician's orders.