Urine Dipstick Color Codes (Nursing)

by Prof. Lawes

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    00:01 Okay, I know that is a lot of information.

    00:04 So let's just take it one piece at a time.

    00:07 But I wanted to make sure you saw all up close and big, so you can get familiar with what it's going to look like.

    00:14 Okay, so let's walk through this one item at a time.

    00:17 If you already know it, good deal, celebrate what you know.

    00:21 If you're new to this, don't worry, we'll take you through it step by step.

    00:26 So let's start with that far left column.

    00:29 You'll see that it has numbers and one particular letter.

    00:32 What letter is that? Right, it's a small s.

    00:36 That small s next to the number just stands for seconds.

    00:40 So that number, next to the s, tells you how long you should wait before you assess for that particular item.

    00:47 Now let's look at the next column to the right.

    00:50 Okay, now you see words, right? So that has the name of what the dipstick is testing.

    00:55 So the number tells me how long I need to wait to read the item in the very next column.

    01:01 Okay, so for example, which of these listed do you have to wait the longest time before you assess? Look at the left column, the seconds, which one is the longest? Right, leukocytes on this strip require you to wait 120 seconds or two minutes.

    01:20 Now, what can be read in 30 seconds? So scan that column. Look for the number 30 seconds.

    01:29 Good. Bili and glucose can be read at 30 seconds.

    01:33 Now don't get too wrapped up in like you might...

    01:35 You don't have to memorize these times.

    01:37 You'll have this information available to you on the strip.

    01:40 You just make a mental note of which ones you read first, second, and third, and you're in great shape.

    01:46 Alright, so we've looked at the timing the amount of seconds you need to wait.

    01:51 The next column tells us what we're looking at.

    01:53 Now, let's work through each one of the items on the dipstick.

    01:57 Let's take a closer look at leukocytes.

    02:00 Look at the colored boxes from left to right.

    02:04 When you hold a strip up next to the guide, you'll need to match the color as close as you can to assess the patient's urine.

    02:10 Light yellow is on the left in this one.

    02:13 That means the urine is negative for white blood cells.

    02:16 Now, that darkest purple on the right we have got a lot of white blood cells.

    02:23 So what clarity would you expect with this urine? If I was doing a visual examination of the urine, if I have that dark purple response means I have a lot of light cells.

    02:33 Right. It's going to be hazy or cloudy.

    02:35 Difficult to see through.

    02:37 Because this is telling me I have more white cells than are appropriate or normal.

    02:43 That starts me thinking that the patient could have a UTI.

    02:46 Now, you follow the same process all the way down the strip with each substance.

    02:51 So like nitrites, urobilinogen, protein, etc.

    02:55 But keep in mind, nitrates are either negative or positive.

    03:00 And the other substances have numbers like specific gravity.

    03:03 So take a look at that before we go through.

    03:06 Nitrites, right.

    03:08 They just say positive or negative.

    03:10 The other substances like specific gravity have numbers assigned to their colors.

    03:15 Well and as a tip, nitrites in your urine, they should never be there.

    03:20 That's why we can go negative or positive.

    03:22 If we're there, that's another indicator of a urinary tract infection.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Urine Dipstick Color Codes (Nursing) by Prof. Lawes is from the course Interpretation of Renal Lab Values (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Negative
    2. Positive
    3. Trace
    4. Small

    Author of lecture Urine Dipstick Color Codes (Nursing)

     Prof. Lawes

    Prof. Lawes

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