Proper collection of urine specimens is important to avoid contamination of the specimen or deterioration of urine constituents. Ensure the urine collection container is clean and the container manufacturer has guaranteed that interfering substances will not leach into the specimen. If the specimen is a voided specimen, it is important to provide patients with instructions for proper collection. Voided specimens that may be provided to the laboratory for testing include:
- Random specimens: As the name implies, random specimens can be collected at any time.
- First morning specimen (also known as an eight-hour specimen). The urine is generally more concentrated in this type of specimen because it has been in the bladder for an extended period of time. This may enhance the detection of cellular elements and protein, if present.
Midstream clean-catch specimens: The patient is instructed to clean the labial area or tip of the penis with an antiseptic wipe. The patient should then begin voiding into the toilet, collect the midstream portion into the sterile container, and then finish voiding into the toilet. This type of collection is necessary when a urine culture is ordered.