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Urinalysis: Visual and Chemical Exam (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:00 So let's talk about the visual and chemical portion of the urine analysis.

    00:05 First of all, I'm going to take a look at it.

    00:07 Here's our five magic electorial bladders.

    00:09 You'll see they range from a really light pale yellow to that funky red orange color.

    00:15 So when you do a urinary visual inspection, what you're going to do is look at the color and the clarity.

    00:22 When we say clarity another word for that is turbidity.

    00:25 So essentially you hold up the specimen you look at it.

    00:28 Can you see through it easily Or is it kind of cloudy? That makes a big difference.

    00:34 It should be clear and it should be a pale yellow.

    00:37 Anything that's different than that can give us more information about your patients current status.

    00:43 So cloudy urine we've got pictures for you there, look cloudy, hazy, and clear.

    00:51 So the difference between hazy and cloudy, hazy it's got some stuff in it, but I can still see through it.

    00:57 You can see that dark strip behind it.

    01:00 Cloudy, you almost can't see through it.

    01:04 Okay so the reason that's a problem if it's not clear, the reason we can't see through it is because there are extra particles in the urine that shouldn't be there.

    01:13 That's usually a pretty good sign of a UTI or a urinary tract infection.

    01:19 Now it could be from, wait for it, puss, blood, or extra white blood cells that are fighting infection.

    01:27 So when it's cloudy there's usually a reason for that.

    01:30 Remember when we catch the sample, we're making sure the patient is very clean before they do that to eliminate external bacteria.

    01:37 We make sure they start their stream then stop it and collect the sample midstream.

    01:43 That's what we're trying to avoid.

    01:44 So if that sample is cloudy, it should be from internal bacteria, we know we have a problem and we need to treat it.

    01:52 So this is the visual part of the exam or taking a look at it.

    01:56 Is it clear hazy or cloudy? So after the visual inspection, we're going to move into the chemical.

    02:04 Now look at what I have for you up there.

    02:06 You see you've got a pH Spectrum from 4.5-8.0.

    02:11 What would you guess a normal urine pH's? Now I'm sure you remember that blood pH is 7.35 to 7.45.

    02:20 That's the general range.

    02:22 Is your urine pH more acidic or more basic? Right.

    02:28 It's slightly acidic.

    02:30 It's definitely more acidic than your blood pH, 5.5 to 6.5 is what we're looking for in a urine pH.

    02:38 Now, there's some things that you can take into your body that could alter your urine pH.

    02:43 Foods can impact the pH.

    02:45 Acidic fruits like cranberries make more acidic urine.

    02:49 Maybe you've heard people say if you have an infection, you should drink cranberry juice the debate is still out on that one, but it's not going to hurt anything.

    02:58 On the other end of the pH, foods with citrate, that's a salt in citric acid can cause a urine to be more alkaline.

    03:07 So cranberries are going to make it more acidic, foods with citric or citric acid are going to make it more basic.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Urinalysis: Visual and Chemical Exam (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Introduction to Urinalysis – Renal Assessment (Nursing).


    Author of lecture Urinalysis: Visual and Chemical Exam (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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