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Understand Cholesterol Testing

September is National Cholesterol Education Month. Learn more about cholesterol and other lipids, and when testing may be appropriate.

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In-depth Feature Articles

To learn more about laboratory medicine in general and gain a greater understanding of how laboratory testing can impact your health care, read the following in-depth articles. These patient resources are intended to help you navigate the testing process, provide context for the lab tests you may need or have already completed, and give you a better understanding of your test results.

Employee Drug Testing: Weighing the Costs and Benefits

What are the costs and benefits of workplace drug testing? Learn more about the types of workplace drug testing, the laws, and how it’s used in various states and industries.

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Reference Ranges and What They Mean

A reference range is a set of values that includes upper and lower limits of a lab test based on a group of otherwise healthy people. By comparing your test results with reference values, you and your health care provider can see if any of your test results fall outside the range of expected values and gain clues to help identify possible conditions or diseases.

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Where Lab Tests Are Performed

Laboratory testing is performed in many different settings, from the large reference lab to your own home. As we learn to take a more active role in our medical care, a clear understanding of what happens when our blood or urine or other body fluid specimen is sent "off to the lab" will help us to become more knowledgeable participants in our own healthcare.

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Test Preparation: Your Role

One of the most important factors in determining the accuracy and reliability is you and your test preparation.

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Follow That Blood Sample: A Short Lab Tour

Ever wonder what happens to your blood sample once it's been collected? Find out as you follow a blood sample through the laboratory.

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Laboratory Methods

Understanding the method used for a test provides a broader context for understanding your test results. Learn about a few common laboratory methods mentioned on this site.

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Ask a Laboratory Scientist

Ask A Laboratory Scientist

This form enables patients to ask specific questions about lab tests. Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Please allow 2-3 business days for an email response from one of the volunteers on the Consumer Information Response Team.

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