Specimen Handling

To ensure quality test results are obtained for your sample, it is important to adhere to the following guidelines when preparing a specimen to be tested. Once your specimen is collected properly, it will then need to be processed, stored and transported correctly to the Conway Regional Laboratory for analysis. 

General Guidelines

Generally, your specimen requirements are written in a format that specifies the requested volume, storage temperature, and any specialty handling for the sample you are giving. The requested volume is an amount sufficient to allow at least two performances of the test either singly or in duplicate. If temperature has not been indicated in your specimen instructions, the sample may be stored and shipped at room temperature. If the volume of specimen received is insufficient to run all the tests required, our Client Services department will contact your physician who will in turn contact you.

Serum, Plasma or Whole Blood Collection

Most blood specimens can be obtained using routine phlebotomy techniques. Specimen collection may be done at the Conway Regional Medical Center , the Imaging Center, or an alternative Nexus Draw site. Once your sample is taken, it should be submitted to Nexus with the physician’s priority of determination on the test request form. Tests will be performed in the order of that priority.

Stool Specimen Collection

How to Collect the Specimen(s):

Avoiding contact with urine, pass stool directly into the stool cup OR pass stool into a stool hat. You may need to divide the specimen into two stool cups using the tongue depressor provided or the other handy implement such as a plastic spoon. You may also be provided with stool transport containers, depending on the test requested.

Label the stool cups with your full name, date and time of collection. Deliver specimens to the lab AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Specimen Requirements:

  • Stool Culture – Leave the container at room temperature and submit it within two hours of collection. Specimen must be delivered to the lab in the provided stool transport container.
  • Ova & Parasites – Specimen must be submitted at room temperature within one hour of collection. Minimum volume is one tablespoon or a walnut sized portion.
  • Clostridium Difficile (C. diff) – Refrigerate specimen and submit within 24 hours. Loose, watery or soft stools only. Soft stools assume the shape of the container. Hard or formed stools are unacceptable for this test.
  • Giardia/Cryptosporidium – Refrigerate specimen and submit within 24 hours.
  • H. pylori Antigen -- Refrigerate specimen and submit within 24 hours.
  • Rotavirus/Rotazyme -- Refrigerate specimen and submit within 24 hours.
  • WBC Stool -- Refrigerate specimen and submit within 24 hours.

For your safety, leaking specimens, unlabeled specimens or mislabeled specimens will be rejected.

Urine Collections

Directions for Patients on How to Collect the Specimen(s):

Specimen collection may be done at the Conway Regional Medical Center or the Imaging Center.
The first morning specimen is preferred for some urine testing. You doctor will instruct you in this requirement and you may bring the sample in for testing. Specimen must be fresh and delivered within one hour of collection. Refrigerate the sample if you are unable to deliver it within one hour. These specimens must be delivered within 12 hours.

Males: Void the first part of the stream into the toilet, and then collect the remainder of the stream into the provided container.
Females: Spread labia while urinating.
Collection Container: Provided by the Medical Center or Imaging Center.

24-Hour Urine Collections

Directions on How to Collect the Specimen(s): Click Here to download instructions.

Rhogam Injection

You do not need an appointment, but you must register in the East Lobby between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Before you receive your injection the staff will do a blood test. It will take between 20 minutes and two hours to get the results. You can wait on the test and then receive your injection (if needed). If you’re not able to wait for your results, you can return within three days if you need an injection. If you choose to return later, you will not need to register in the East Lobby. Go directly to the Lab, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Glucose Screening

You do not need an appointment for this test. You may come to the Laboratory at anytime. The Laboratory is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You will be at the hospital for 1 to 1½ hours for this test.

Glucose Tolerance Test

  • Increase your carbohydrate intake (bread, pasta, etc.) for three days prior to testing.
  • Do not eat or drink anything but water for 14 hours prior to testing.
  • You may be in the hospital for up to 4 hours.

Semen Analysis

To give your physician the most accurate results possible, please follow these instructions when collecting the specimen. This is very important. Click here to download questionaire.