From quickly identifying strep throat to determining whether you’ll be adding to your family, lab testing is one of the most important services we offer as medical providers. Blood tests, urinalyses, and swabs are all part of our frontline diagnostic care. These lab tests allow us to quickly identify a problem so that we can get you on the road to better health more quickly.
As urgent care providers, our team here at Forest Urgent Care relies on lab testing for fast and conclusive results, which is why our clinics are equipped with on-site lab services.
To illustrate the important role of lab testing, we explore here the many benefits of common lab tests.
In your blood
The blood in your body is responsible for the health of your trillions of cells as it transports the resources they need to function optimally. By drawing a sample of your blood, we can gain a wealth of information about the health of your body at that moment.
To determine what to test for, we first review your symptoms, which guides us on what to check.
For example, if you’re not feeling well (such as being overly fatigued) and there’s no obvious reason for it, one of our first tests is a complete blood count (CBC). A CBC measures the major blood components, including your white and red blood cells and your platelets, which can tell us whether your body is in distress. If we find that your white blood cell counts are high, for instance, this typically indicates an infection or disease.
We can order a basic metabolic panel which checks your blood sugar, electrolytes, calcium and a few other substances in your blood. This can tell us things like whether you may have developed diabetes or kidney disease. A complete metabolic panel adds in a few more tests that give us an idea of your liver function. We can also run more specific tests, such as a thyroid panel, to determine whether you have an underactive or overactive thyroid.
When it comes to your heart health, blood labs are critical as we can test for certain indicators of cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol and triglycerides or certain enzyme markers that point toward a heart attack.
As another example of the importance of lab tests, if you present with symptoms of certain sexually transmitted diseases, we turn to a blood test to confirm an infection, which allows us to quickly treat the problem.
These are just a few examples of the many things that a blood test can tell us about the health of your body.
In your urine
Urine testing also provides valuable answers as we can test for:
- Urinary tract or kidney infections
- Drugs and alcohol
Urine tests are both easy and fast, often providing results on the spot.
Through swabbing, we can collect samples of cells from various areas of your body. While we may be all too familiar with the nasal swab test for COVID-19, we can also swab different areas to gather information.
For example, with a rapid strep test we swab the back of your throat to find out whether you have strep throat.
For women, regular swabs of the cervix can help screen for problems in reproductive health. Also called Pap smears and HPV tests, these swabs allow us to stay one step ahead of serious problems like cervical cancer.
We also offer immigration exams which the USCIS requires for all applicants applying to become a permanent lawful resident. It can also be for occupational purposes for work clearances. .
As you can see, lab tests are an integral part of the health services we provide at our practice, If you have any questions about our lab testing, please contact one of our two New York offices in Forest Hills or Hunters Point in Long Island City.