Medical Lab FAQs
Salinas Valley Health Screenings
A medical laboratory is a convenient way to obtain important information
about your health through body fluid and tissue tests. If you have never
used the Salinas Valley Medical Clinic (SVMC) lab before you likely have
a few questions. We have provided answers to questions frequently asked
by patients below. Feel free to contact us if you would like to have your
questions answered directly.
Are appointments necessary?
No, you can visit the lab and request your tests without making an appointment.
Please bring a medical insurance card and a filled out test requisition
form from your primary healthcare provider. Be aware that your wait time
will depend on how busy the lab is. You can
reduce your wait time by visiting during the slow periods, typically any time after 10 a.m.
How can I prepare for lab testing?
Fasting is 10-12 hours (not 8), not all labs require fasting, water is OK. The
nutrients and chemicals from food enter your bloodstream and could impact
your test results. For the most accurate bloodwork, doctors almost always
recommend fasting before visiting the lab. Not all labs require fasting,
speak with your doctor if you are unsure if you should fast before your test.
When do I receive my results?
The SVMC laboratory typically has results within 24 to 48 hours. Some tests
will require more time. If our lab is incapable of evaluating the sample,
we will forward it to a facility that specializes in the testing required.
Results from partner labs are usually returned in 5 days.
Results of your test are sent to your doctor. To view them yourself you
will need to contact your primary care physician and ask for a copy.
Why do you send results to my doctor and not me?
Though you may be the one requesting the lab test, these services are only
performed with a doctor’s compliance. This is to avoid spending
time and resources on unnecessary testing, which can end up costing you
thousands of dollars. Additionally, medical lab tests are written specifically
for people with medical training. If you do not have a medical education
you will likely need a doctor’s assistance interpreting the results.
Why do I need a lab test?
If your doctor has recommended a lab test, it means that they need more
information to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. It is sometimes impossible
to diagnose infections, diabetes, cancer and other diseases without laboratory
testing. We recommend scheduling an appointment for lab testing the same
day your doctor recommends one.