After your doctor has written you a request form, there are a
number of questions you may have regarding your tests.
Whilst the majority of our tests are from blood samples, other
tests may be performed on samples of tissue, urine, stools (faeces)
or other body fluids and secretions.
The DML collection staff (phlebotomists) are extensively trained
to ensure a professional encounter.
Some of the questions you may have, are answered
• Can I attend a DML
• Will I have to pay for my
• What do I need to bring for my
• Do I need to fast?
• What does fasting involve?
• Do I still take my
• I need to have a blood test -
what does this involve?
• I am nervous about having my
blood taken - is it really necessary?
• Am I at risk of catching
anything by having my blood taken?
• I have to give a
urine/sputum/stool test - how do I do this?
• How do I know that my
samples will not be mixed up in the laboratory?
I have very difficult veins. How can I be sure
your phlebotomists can get the sample?
• I have recently had major
surgery and can not get to a collection centre. How can I get my
• When will my results be
CAN I ATTEND A DML COLLECTION CENTRE?
We are contracted by the Auckland
District Health Boards to provide fully funded services only for
patients being referres from private specialists and fertility
clinincs, in -patients at private hospitals or residents of rest
homes and geriatric hospitals.
If you have a referral from a
general practitiioner, and you want to have your tests done at DML,
you can access the DML collection centre and testing service.
You will need to pay for your tests. Our collection
centre staff can assist you with details and prices.
We offer a full service for
patients requiring tests not funded by the government. Click here for further
WILL I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY TEST?
You do not have to pay for
laboratory tests if you meet the New Zealand Government eligibility
requirements and your tests have been ordered by a registered
medical practitioner and the service/test is funded. There are some
tests and services that must be paid for, and your health
practitioner will advise you if you need to pay. If you are
unsure if there is a charge for tests, please contact us on (09)
571 6400 or for more information on eligibility please visit http://www.moh.govt.nz/eligibility
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING FOR MY TEST?
You will need to bring with you a
laboratory request form, either a DML printed form or a computer
generated request form, which has been signed by your
DO I NEED TO FAST?
Most tests do not require you to
fast. However, there are some tests which will require you to
fast for 10 - 16 hours, for example cholesterol, lipids, fasting
glucose. For these tests we recommend that you fast
overnight. Fasting should not exceed 16 hours. You can drink water
during this time and take any medication you would normally take,
unless advised otherwise by your doctor. Your doctor will inform
you of any tests that require fasting or you may contact DML for
advice. See also - Patient Information - Fasting Tests.
WHAT DOES FASTING INVOLVE?
If fasting is required, you should
not have anything to eat or drink for 10-16 hours before your test.
You may drink water only. Unless advised by your doctor you should
take all regular medication.
If you are diabetic or have any
concerns, please contact your doctor before fasting.
Please notify us if you have fasted
for longer than 16 hours as prolonged fasting may affect your
DO I STILL TAKE MY MEDICATIONS?
Your doctor will advise if you are
to stop taking your medication. Please check with your doctor if
you are unsure.
I NEED TO HAVE A BLOOD TEST- WHAT DOES THIS
A blood test involves taking blood
from a vein in your arm. Our phlebotomy staff are extensively
trained in this skill. All of our equipment is sterile.
Identification of the patient
before specimen collection is vital, so we need to make sure all of
your personal details are correct. Our staff will ask you to say
your name and date birth and they will also check your contact
details, the doctor's details and other questions that are specific
to the testing (for example "Have you fasted for 10-16 hours?").
It is important that we obtain all of this information on
each occasion, even if you are a regular patient, to ensure that we
have the correct information on our records. This will assist us to
maintain one consistent record on each patient.
Once your details have been
confirmed, the phlebotomist will examine your arm to find a
suitable vein. If you feel uncomfortable, please do not
hesitate to inform our phlebotomist. You may prefer to lie down if
you are feeling faint or nervous.
Once a suitable vein is found, the
phlebotomist will cleanse the skin with an alcohol swab and then
insert a sterile needle into your vein to obtain the sample.
Different tubes are required for
different types of tests, so there may be more than one tube of
blood collected. All tubes will be labelled with your name and date
After the blood has been drawn and
the needle has been removed, pressure should be applied to the site
for at least three minutes to minimise bleeding. Once bleeding has
stopped, a bandaid will be applied. If you are aware of any
allergic reactions to alcohol swabs or tapes please let our
phlebotomist know and we will find an alternative.
It is important that you avoid
heavy lifting or strenuous exercise in the following 24 hours to
avoid bruising or bleeding.
If you have any concerns at all,
please do not hesitate to contact us prior to attending one of our
collection centres or discuss them with our phlebotomists.
See also - Patient Information -
Post Venepuncture Care.
I AM NERVOUS ABOUT HAVING MY BLOOD TAKEN - IS IT REALLY
Our collection staff are
extensively trained and will endeavour to make you feel at ease.
We encourage you to lie down for the procedure if you are
feeling uncomfortable. Relaxation techniques such as deep
breathing may also prove helpful. Please inform our collection
staff if you are feeling nervous or anxious so that we may assist
you with the procedure.
Your doctor has requested the
pathology tests to be carried out. If you are concerned about the
necessity of these tests, we encourage you to discuss this with
AM I AT RISK OF CATCHING ANYTHING BY HAVING MY BLOOD
No... It is the policy of DML to
utilise single use sterile equipment when taking blood samples from
patients. Our specimen collection staff are trained in infection
I HAVE TO GIVE A URINE / SPUTUM / STOOL TEST - HOW DO I
As tests vary, the phlebotomists
will give you written instructions on how to collect the sample. If
you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact
See also - Patient Information.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY SAMPLES WILL NOT BE MIXED UP IN
Our collection staff will confirm
your details with you at every visit. This is to ensure we have all
the correct information. Each sample is carefully labelled
after collection. A laboratory number label is given to your
request form and samples to ensure they are not mixed up.
This number is unique and assists to ensure that the correct
tests are performed on each sample. We have other checks in place
throughout the testing procedure to ensure the testing is performed
at the highest possible standard.
I HAVE VERY DIFFICULT VEINS. HOW CAN I BE SURE YOUR
PHLEBOTOMISTS CAN GET THE SAMPLE?
All of our collection staff are
extensively trained. They learn how to take samples from a
comprehensive range of patients, including those with 'difficult'
Our collection staff are advised to
only have two attempts at taking your blood. You may be requested
to return at a later time if we are unsuccessful. Although this may
seem inconvenient, it aims to reduce the risk of any problems and
minimise discomfort for our patients.
If you have any concerns about
having your sample taken, we encourage you to contact us before
attending our centres.
Some of our staff are specially
trained to collect samples from small children under six years of
age. If you are bringing your child along for a blood test, we
would suggest that you contact us to enquire if an appropriately
experienced phlebotomist will be available at the centre you are
intending to visit.
I HAVE RECENTLY HAD MAJOR SURGERY AND CAN NOT GET TO A
COLLECTION ROOM. HOW CAN I GET MY TEST DONE?
To ensure the highest level of
patient care, we encourage all patients to visit their closest
collection centre. These are conveniently located around the
greater Auckland area and are listed on the back of the request
Your doctor may request that our
mobile phlebotomists visit your home - this is a limited service
for those patients with a genuine need.
WHEN WILL MY RESULTS BE READY?
Routine test results are generally
available within 2-3 days of collection. However, some testing is
more involved and may take longer. To assist you in organising an
appointment with your doctor, we encourage you to ask your doctor
when the results will be available.