2In Practice: Collecting Specimens and Samples Refer to Nursing Care Guidelines 52-1.
3Nursing AlertAlways wear clean gloves when collecting specimens of urine, stool, sputum, wound drainage, or blood.Thorough and consistent handwashing before and after any contact with clients and their specimens limits spread of microorganisms that cause disease.It also protects the specimen from inadvertent contamination by the nurse’s hands.
4The Urine Specimen Information obtained Client’s recovery or decline Assessment of kidney and/or liver statusPresence of legal and illegal drugsPregnancyIdentification of specific disease-causing organisms
5Keeping Intake and Output Records Indicator of nutritional and fluid balance.Order is given to “record food and fluid intake” or “I&O + calorie count.”Over 24 hours, a person’s normal fluid I&O will be approximately the same, or balanced.Amounts recorded for I&O are measured in milliliters (mL).
6Key ConceptSome normal situations can cause the fluid intake and output to be quite different.For example, during very hot weather, fluid is lost through perspiration, but it cannot be measured.Eating extra salt may cause a temporary retention of water in the tissues.
7Fluid Intake and Output All fluids consumed through the gastrointestinal (GI) systemFluids taken as part of intravenous (IV) therapy or total parenteral nutrition (TPN)Fluid outputIncludes all fluids excreted from the body by any meansMaintain IV fluids record.
8Measuring Fluid Intake Measure all fluidsEnteral intake: by gastrointestinal (GI) systemBy mouthCount ice as ½ waterTube feedingParenteral intake: peripheral lines (not GI system)Intravenous (IV) therapyTotal parenteral nutrition (TPN)
9Measuring Output Measure Urine All other fluids leaving body Wound drainageEmesisWatery diarrheaBleedingReturns from nasogastric (NG) suction tube
10Nursing AlertBefore giving fluids to a client, find out if the client is on I&O. Do not fill a water pitcher or empty one unless you are sure of the procedure used for recording I&O in your facility.Do not empty a bedpan or urinal without first finding out if the client’s I&O is being recorded or if a urine specimen is required.Enlist the aid of the client or family, when possible, to assist with tracking intake and output and reporting when the water pitcher is empty or when the client has voided (urinated).
11Key ConceptThe urinary output of an infant or incontinent adult can be determined in several ways:A special specimen collection bag can be used. These are also available for adults, but are rarely used.The infant diaper, Depends-type adult diaper, or sanitary napkin can be weighed and compared to the weight of the same item when dry. The weight can then be converted, using a chart, to urine volume.Urine specimens can be collected in the same mannerSpecimen hat.
12Measuring Urine Specific Gravity An indicator of the concentration of urine as compared with pure waterMeasured with a urinometer or hydrometerNormal range1.010 (dilute) to (highly concentrated)High specific gravity could indicated dehydration of fluid retentionLow specific gravity could indicate a disorder such as diabetes insipidus or excessive use of diuretic medications
13Collecting Urine Specimens for Examination UrinalysisComponents of urine identifiedUrine specimens are collectedAt the beginning of treatmentWhen illness is presentTo check for the presence of legal or illegal drugsTo determine a pregnancyTo check for infection
14Nursing Alert Place all specimens in leak-proof containers. Keep the outside of these containers clean and dry.Place them into plastic biohazard bags for transport to the laboratory.Label containers before use. In some facilities, you must also label the bag.Be sure to include the appropriate lab request form, so the laboratory staff knows which tests to complete.In many facilities, the request is entered on the computer as well.
16In Practice: Collecting Clean-Catch or Midstream Urine Specimens *Refer to Nursing Care Guidelines 52-3.Label containerInstruct client to cleanse the urethral area thoroughlyInstruct female client to cleanse from front to back and to cleanse each side with a separate wife, saving the last for the urethral area itselfInstruct the male client to cleanse the penis using a circular motion and going outward from the urethral meatusInstruct client to then void a small amount into the toilet and then void into the sterile container (catching the midstream urine), then void the remainder into the toilet
17Nursing AlertIn some cases, such as when doing drug testing, an observed urine specimen must be obtained.In this case, the nurse must actually observe the client voiding into the specimen container.Be aware that there are a number of methods used to avoid detection when giving a false urine specimen.If you are expected to obtain accurate urine samples for drug testing, you will require special inservice education.
18In Practice: Collecting a 24-Hour Urine Specimen Refer to Nursing Procedure 52-4.Discard the first void and document the time
19Collecting the Fractional Urine Specimen Determines amounts and characteristics of urine during various periods (“fractions”) of the dayOften obtained for 6 hour periodsCollect specimens according to hospital policyorRefer to collection method in textStore all specimens on ice or in a specimen refrigerator during 24 hour urine collection period
20An Indwelling Catheter Take care not to allow the collecting bag to be elevated above the level of the bladder.Obtaining a one-time catheterized urine specimenResidual urine volumeStrict sterile technique40% of all nosocomial infections are related to infections of the urinary tract.
21Nursing AlertStrict sterile technique must be followed in doing catheterization to prevent urinary tract infections.The Centers for Disease Control reports that 40% of all nosocomial infections are related to infections of the urinary tract.
22The Stool SpecimenProvides information about the functioning of the GI system and its accessory organsTwo common testsOccult blood = “hidden” or unseen bloodOva and parasites (O&P)Indicates presence of intestinal parasites (worms) or their eggs (ova)
23The Stool Specimen, cont. Hemoccult or HematestA test for occult (hidden) blood in stool or body secretionsMay need to scrape feces out of attends/diapers using a tongue depressor to obtain a specimenNEVER leave the Hemoccult solution bottle in the client’s room—it can cause blindness if accidentally used as an eye drop. (Most containers look like an eye drop container!)Observe smear for a blue discolorationGuaiacSubstance that causes the tested occult blood to change color
25Nursing AlertBe aware that false-positive results may occur with guaiac tests.“False-positives” can be caused by the client having consumed large amounts of rare red meat or certain foods, such as radishes, tomatoes, beets, horseradish, or some melons.In addition, the client should not take more than 250 mg per day of vitamin C and should not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for 3 days before the test.Usually, three separate specimens are collected on three separate days before a determination of positive or negative is made. If test results are repeatedly positive, additional examinations are necessary.
26Sputum SpecimenUsed to determine presence of tubercle bacillus (causative organism for tuberculosis)Obtain soon after client awakens in the morningSputum accumulates in airways at nightExpectorate = to cough up secretionsDocument sputum amount, color and consistencyLabel container appropriately with date, time, amount, color, consistency and time sent to lab
28Nursing AlertThe sputum specimen is considered highly contaminated. Treat it with caution.Paper tissues used by any client also are considered contaminated. Dispose of them properly.Wear gloves when handling tissues and sputum specimens and when providing nursing care if the client is coughing up sputum.Goggles and a mask or full face shield may be necessary to protect the nurse from droplet secretions, particularly if the client is coughing or spitting. (A “spit shield” is also available. This is a net-type device that is placed over the client’s head so he or she cannot spit at others.)
29The Blood Specimen Taken at admission to healthcare facility Assesses blood’s normal cells and other componentsDetermines presence of abnormalities or disease organismsVenipuncturePuncture of a vein, usually with a needleBlood often drawn in the AC space, jugular or femoral vein is used in children
30The Blood Specimen, cont. Blood cultureIdentifies disease-causing organismDraw BC’s prior to antibiotic therapy!Drug sensitivity testDetermines medications that will kill or arrest the growth of that organismC&S = culture and sensitivity
31The Blood Specimen, cont. Nurses who draw blood need specialized instruction and supervised practice in venipuncture.