When you will need a test, you can’t assume that doctors office will have the test. Whether an office has it or not varies, even if it’s the kind of test that is commonly offered in a medical office.
That is also true of labs. Not all labs have every test, even really common tests. (This is particularly true in big cities with multiple labs).
Some labs will only do certain tests at particular times of day.
Some tests require fasting.
Some tests have different rules at different labs.
Some tests require a prescription from a doctor.
Labs will usually make you bring a prescription, a credit card, your insurance card, and a photo ID. Some labs do not accept cash.
If you can use phones, it’s a good idea to call ahead when you are trying to arrange to get a test.
A potentially useful script:
- I need test x.
- Do you offer that test?
- Do I need an appointment?
- What time can I come in?
- Do I need to fast?
- What do I need to bring?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
As a note, if you are doing a lab test that requires fasting, ESPECIALLY if you’re getting blood drawn, bring something to eat afterwards! And I mean, immediately following the appointment. I can’t stress this enough. You’re probably going to be woozy from the combination of having blood drawn and fasting (most places require 12 hours of fasting). This goes especially if you’re driving yourself to your appointment.