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Urine Culture and Sensitivity Testing (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:00 So what's the purpose of a urine culture? As the C part in a Culture and Sensitivity.

    00:06 We want to find and identify the germs, usually it's a bacteria or a fungus that can cause the infection.

    00:13 The first step in treating a UTI is identifying what bug it is.

    00:18 We can't pick the medicine to treat the infection unless we know the name of the bug that's causing it.

    00:25 Now, you may be wondering, is there an additional test necessary to treat a UTI? We're not talking about identifying a UTI, but treating it making the decision to do that.

    00:36 Now this is the least favorite answer of nursing students anywhere? Because the answer is...

    00:41 it depends.

    00:43 So the culture is either going to be negative or positive.

    00:47 Let's look at when you need to do a follow up test.

    00:51 So if the culture is negative, no bacteria or fungi were identified.

    00:55 So the patient may require follow-up if they have continued symptoms.

    01:01 Now the culture is positive, that means we've identified the bacteria or the fungi, and we are going to do a follow-up test because we want to identify how to treat it.

    01:11 That's the sensitivity report.

    01:13 Okay, so if I've done a culture, do I need to do further testing? Well, if the culture is negative, I'm just going to follow them and see if they continue to have symptoms, we might need to retest.

    01:25 If it's positive, that means the bacteria or fungi was identified.

    01:29 And we are going to do a follow-up test to identify what is going to treat it.

    01:35 Now, here's a little caveat.

    01:36 You can add this to your note because it's very rare.

    01:40 So I didn't want to write it out on the slide for you.

    01:43 But there is very rare cases that a person with symptoms similar to a UTI, but with repeated negative cultures.

    01:50 That means they didn't show any bacterial infection, They may in fact have bladder cancer.

    01:56 So that's something to just keep on your radar.

    01:59 It's very rare, but it can happen.

    02:02 So let's talk about Sensitivity Testing.

    02:05 the order will read urine C and S.

    02:07 And you've already seen that throughout the video series.

    02:10 C is for Culture, that means I'm going to identify the bacteria or fungus.

    02:14 Sensitivity identifies a medication that will kill the bug.

    02:19 So put these two together, and we have a powerful plan for treatment.

    02:22 Both are needed for effective treatment.

    02:26 Now, would a sensitivity test be done if the culture was negative? Would it? No.

    02:34 Negative means no bacteria or fungi was identified.

    02:37 So there's no way we could tell what it's sensitive to because there was no bug present.

    02:42 A sensitivity test is specific to organisms.

    02:46 Bacterial cultures take time.

    02:49 Here's why this matters when you are a nurse.

    02:51 Because it usually takes 24 to 48 hours to grow the pathogen.

    02:56 and then to get a pure culture for further testing.

    02:59 Your patient is going to need medication in that period of time.

    03:03 So what does the healthcare team do while they're waiting for the results to come back? Well, they'll use empiric therapy.

    03:10 That's an educated guess, of what's the most likely cause of the infection, and the patient will receive those antibiotics, usually a broad spectrum antibiotic until the specific results come back.

    03:22 That's another place where you play a key role.

    03:25 When those results come back, please make sure the healthcare provider knows those results.

    03:30 So adjustments can be made in the medication plan.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Urine Culture and Sensitivity Testing (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Interpretation of Renal Lab Values (Nursing).


    Author of lecture Urine Culture and Sensitivity Testing (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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