You are a good patient and always go to your yearly doctor check-ups. Your healthcare provider checks your blood pressure, does a physical exam, and says you look great but then they give you lab slips to get your blood work done. If the provider already examined you and your vitals were good, why do you need blood work? You feel fine, you are scared of needles, or you just don’t have time to go to the lab so you never get it done. You may see no issue with not getting your routine blood work done but you could be harming your health.
Why is Routine Blood Work Important?
Blood work is often the first step in diagnosing medical conditions. Even though you feel fine and look okay does not mean there isn’t something going on internally. Healthcare providers use the results from blood work to identify any health conditions or possible future health problems and to monitor any ongoing health problems. Having routine blood work will help catch a medical issue before it becomes an emergency or does too much damage.
Common Blood Tests
Your healthcare provider will order the tests that they think are necessary for your health needs and risks. If you want a specific blood test done, talk to your healthcare provider about why you want the test done and request a script. Be advised that insurance won’t always cover uncommon blood tests if they don’t think they are necessary. Talk with your health insurance company to see what is covered. Some common blood tests include a complete blood count (CBC), basic or comprehensive metabolic panel (BMP or CMP), lipid panel, thyroid panel (TSH), A1C, and vitamin tests.
What to Expect
Some blood tests require you to fast beforehand. Talk to your healthcare provider or lab to see if you need to fast and for how long. In most cases, you will have to fast from everything except water for twelve hours before your blood is drawn. Check with your health insurance company to see which lab you should go to for blood work. Call the lab and set up an appointment. Remember to bring your lab scripts with you to your appointment.
A phlebotomist or other type of healthcare professional will be drawing your blood. If you have had any reactions or adverse occurrences while getting blood drawn in the past, let them know ahead of time. Once the blood is drawn the lab will run the tests that your healthcare provider has ordered. The turnaround time for lab results will depend on the lab and what types of tests were ordered but usually takes several days. Once your labs have resulted, they will be sent to you and your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will review the labs and reach out to you if they have any concerns or recommendations. If you don’t hear from them, feel free to call their office to confirm that they received the results.
- It is important to get your routine blood work done
- Even though you may feel and look fine there could be something going on inside your body that you don’t know about
- Doing routine blood work will allow your healthcare provider to identify any problems or warning signs that you may have to be concerned about
- Getting routine blood work is essential to maintaining your health and preventing or catching medical problems early