Lab Tests

Medical Access
Internal Medicine, Primary Care, Urgent Care Centers & Occupational Medicine
located in Germantown, MD, Alexandria, VA & Woodbridge, VA

The lab, or laboratory, plays a vital role in all aspects of your health care, from diagnosis and treatment to monitoring your health long-term. Using the results of lab tests, the expert team of primary care professionals at Medical Access learns valuable information about you and what's going on inside your body that helps them provide you with the best care. Call the Medical Access office that's most convenient to you in Germantown, Maryland, or in Alexandria and Woodbridge, Virginia, to find out more, or complete the online booking form today to schedule a consultation.

Lab Tests Q & A

Why are lab tests important?

Lab test results are important because they can confirm or rule out a possible diagnosis for your health problem.

They're also a useful tool for monitoring your health, for example, measuring your blood glucose levels if you have diabetes.

Medical Access has its own onsite lab, ensuring you get a prompt diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

What substances do lab tests use?

Blood is the most common substance the lab uses for testing. It provides a broad spectrum of information about your general health, such as micronutrient levels and deficiencies, as well as identifying markers for disease like viruses and bacteria.

Other substances can also be useful for testing, including:

  • Urine
  • Saliva
  • Sputum
  • Semen
  • Discharge fluids
  • Feces
  • Cell swabs

These substances can provide information about the cause of your symptoms; for example, feces analysis can identify whether there's blood in your stool and how much is present.

Various bodily fluids and cells are also useful in screening programs. For example, a Pap smear collects cervical cells that the lab analyses to identify precancerous changes.

The kind of sample you need to provide for lab testing depends on what your doctor suspects could be causing your symptoms. If your provider at Medical Access can't see any clear reason for your condition, they might perform a comprehensive blood workup to check multiple potential causes.

How are blood samples collected for lab tests?

Your provider takes a blood draw onsite, most often accessing a vein in your arm or hand. You might feel a slight piercing sensation as the needle goes into the vein, but this is brief and causes minimal discomfort in most cases.

Making sure you're hydrated before the blood draw helps make your veins easier to access, which means it's less likely there'll be any problems drawing the blood.

If you're nervous about needles or you have hypersensitivity, your provider can give you a topical numbing cream to apply before the blood draw.

How are other samples taken for lab tests?

Urine and feces need collecting in a plastic pot that your provider supplies. It’s important to follow the instructions on collection carefully, so you provide an uncontaminated specimen.

If you feel embarrassed about providing a sample, remember that all the staff in Medical Access's lab are highly trained, compassionate professionals whose only interest is in finding out what's causing your symptoms and helping you get better. 

To take advantage of the convenient, state-of-the-art lab testing facilities available at Medical Access, call their office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.