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    Anytime you hear you have to get a medical exam, imaging, or procedure it can be a source of anxiety. What do you need to do now? What should you expect? What happens next? Our ‘Now What?’ blog series walks you through these procedures so you’re prepared, not worried.


    If your provider recommends testing at Pullman Regional Hospital’s Laboratory Services, you’re in good hands. Our Laboratory Services offers one of the most comprehensive testing menus available in the Palouse area and our team is composed of an array of certified specialists. The Lab is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; outpatient lab draws are performed from 7am-7pm daily. While hearing you need to get Laboratory testing may never be something you look forward to, the Pullman Regional Hospital Laboratory Services wants you to know that your health, safety, and comfort are of utmost priority during your Lab visit. 


    The first step of visiting the Pullman Regional Hospital Laboratory Services is having your provider order a test. This can be done directly between your provider and the Lab or your provider may give you a test order to bring to the lab. It’s important to understand what test you are receiving and what steps (if any) you need to take prior to your Lab visit. Some tests require you to fast, so talking with your provider about preparation is important. If you are providing a blood sample, make sure to come well hydrated, as your veins will be much easier to find. If you are providing a urine specimen or work place employment drug screening, please arrive with a full bladder. 


    Jennifer Matera, Laboratory Services Director at Pullman Regional Hospital, wants your visit to be easy and straightforward. “If you are needing results before your next appointment with your provider, it’s important to come at least 7 days before your next appointment,” Matera says, this will allow enough time for most results to come back from the reference laboratory if a test cannot be performed at the Pullman Regional Hospital Lab. 


    An online scheduling tool allows you to pick a day and time that fits with your schedule. Simply visit to schedule your lab draw. If you’re in need of glucose tolerance testing or a pre-employment drug screen, you can call (509) 336-7660 to schedule.


    When you arrive at Pullman Regional Hospital for your Lab visit, you can park in any patient parking and enter through the main entrance. You will check in at the registration desk and provide the test order if you have it, as well as your insurance information. You’ll also be given some information about HIPAA (patient confidentiality information) and asked to sign a consent form.


    Matera wants patients to know that the Lab will try to serve you as quickly as possible, though “hospital patients’ needs take priority at the Lab.” There’s a nice waiting area with large windows and plenty of seating for you to sit while you await your test. When you’re called back for your test, the phlebotomist will ask you for your name and birth date before they begin- this ensures all paperwork they have been given is yours. 


    “Our phlebotomists are very skilled and have experience drawing people of all ages. We know some people are nervous about having blood drawn, but our phlebotomists are good at putting people at ease” assures Matera. After your test is completed and the phlebotomist is labeling your sample, they will ask you to confirm your name and birthdate again. While this may seem redundant, it’s a patient safety practice that confirms all information is correct so you get the right results! 


    Your specimens will be taken to the laboratory where testing will either be performed by Medical Laboratory Scientists or sent to a reference laboratory. Matera says that “most tests performed at Pullman Regional Hospital are available the next day, but your phlebotomist will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding results turnaround time.” Your results will automatically be sent to the ordering provider. You can obtain your results by accessing your patient Health Portal. If you haven’t previously set up an account, the patient registration staff can assist you.


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