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Introduction to Urine Dipstick Test (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:00 Hi, welcome to our video series on interpreting lab values. In this one, we're going to look at a urine dipstick test, how to do it, and how you interpret the results. So let's start with what you can learn from a dipstick. Now a dipstick refers to that piece of paper that has small squares on it that you literally dip into the urine. So it's a strip of paper with small squares and each one of the small squares has special chemicals on it. Those chemicals will cause the square's color to change when it's exposed to substances in a patient's urine. So it's called a dipstick because you have a strip of paper that's dipped into urine. Now special note before we even get really rolling into this I want you to keep in mind that dipsticks may not be as effective in the elderly population. Sometimes they're going to have a UTI, asymptomatic bacteriuria, just know that it's not as effective or accurate in the elderly population. So let's talk about the supplies that you'll need to gather if you're going to do a urine dipstick test for a patient. First, you need the dipstick, the strip of paper with the small squares, then you'll need a dipstick color code guide. Now, that is usually on the bottle that you remove the dipstick from. Look at the label that we'd put there for you. You can see it has some different color variations. Don't try and make those out right now. We're going into more detail a little later on in the video. So you need the strip, you need the bottle with the color guide, and you need a clean specimen cup. This isn't a sterile procedure. Last, you need a timer. You'll reach certain squares at different times. I'll explain that as we move along. Last and not least, you need a urine sample. So think through, what do I need if I'm getting ready to do a urine dipstick test? You grab the bottle of urine dipstick. It's got the color code on it. You take a strip out. We have a clean specimen cup, a urine sample, and a way to time it. I've talked about the supplies you need to gather. Now let's look at the sample. Now you can use a clean-catch or a midstream sample, either one is fine, but I want to explain why I chose those specific graphics to help you remember about the sample. We've got the toilet obviously because that's where we hope the rest of the urine goes. Now you see that urine stream coming down and a clock that says 2 hours. Alright. You're probably putting together why we have a toilet and a stream of urine. Do you remember that a clean-catch or midstream, patient is going to clean themselves very well, then they're going to start their stream, stop it, put the cup in place, and collect the specimen. Okay, everybody is on the same page with that, but what is that 2 hours and why do I keep referring to it? Because it's critically important. You need to make sure that you test the urine. That means you take the urine dipstick and you dip it into the urine within 2 hours. It would be a good idea to do it right away, but if that sample has been there for longer than 2 hours, you'll need to discard the sample and get another one. So really important with urine dipstick tests, you have a 2-hour 2-hour window to dip the stick in the urine in order to read the sample. Now I also want to remind you that if you have a patient who can't give you a sample and you've tried everything that you can or maybe there, patient has an indwelling catheter, you can also withdraw the sample from an indwelling catheter, meaning it remains in the patient, or an intermittent catheter, meaning we cath the patient just to get the urine sample.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Introduction to Urine Dipstick Test (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Interpretation of Renal Lab Values (Nursing).


    Author of lecture Introduction to Urine Dipstick Test (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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