b. Ask the patient to say "Ahhh" as you swab the tonsillar areas from side to
side. Be sure to include any inflamed of purulent sites.
c. Avoid touching the tongue, cheeks, or teeth with the applicator, as this will
contaminate it with oral bacteria.
d. Place the cotton-tipped applicator into the culture tube immediately.
e. Label the culture tube with the patient's name, SSN, and ward number if
f. Complete the request form (SF 553) with the following information:
Patient's rank or status.
Family member prefix and sponsor's social security number.
Ward number if inpatient, or phone number if outpatient.
Source of the specimen (that is, throat).
Any antibiotics the patient is taking.
Date and time the specimen was obtained.
Name of the physician who ordered the culture.
For some respiratory disorders, a sputum specimen is obtained for culture or
other examination to determine if any pathogens or blood are present. The specimen
should be collected early in the morning before the patient eats, brushes his teeth, or
uses mouthwash. The specimen is more likely to contain sputum at this time, rather
than just saliva. Specimens are often taken for three consecutive days because it is
difficult for the patient to cough up enough sputum at one time, and an organism may be
missed if only one culture is done.
SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT
Supplies and equipment required to collect a sputum specimen are
a. Sterile container with tight-fitting lid.