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Specimen Collection


Active Plus Home Health Care, Inc. offers specimen collection for patients experiencing symptoms of an illness or injury. Nurses can collect a wide range of samples to ensure that patients receive an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment.

Throat Swab Culture

A throat swab culture is done to check for a bacterial or fungal infection in the throat. A nurse will use a cotton-tipped applicator to obtain a sample of mucus and secretions from the back of the throat and apply it to a slide or a special cup that allows infection growth. This test can be done to identify pneumonia, strep throat, whooping cough, tonsillitis, and meningitis.


Sputum Specimen and Culture

A sputum sample is mucus from the lungs that is spit out through the mouth or obtained via tracheal suctioning. These specimens are typically taken three days in a row because it is difficult to cough up enough sputum at one time. In addition, an organism may be missed if only one culture is collected.

The purpose of this type of test is to:

  • Identify microorganisms causing lung infections
  • Identify cancer cells from lung tumors
  • Aid in the diagnosis and management of occupational lung diseases

Stool Specimen and Culture

A stool culture grows or cultures organisms in existing feces to identify diseases. This test is done to identify the presence of parasites and inform treatment of intestinal illness.

Guaiac Fecal Occult Blood Test (gFOBT)

Used to find hidden, or occult, blood in the stool. This test uses guaiac as a reagent to identify occult blood that is difficult to see.

Urine Specimen and Culture

Also known as a urinalysis, a urine test examines the physical and chemical properties of urine at a microscopic level. Various compounds passed through urine are measured to diagnose illness.

Random Urine Sample

This type of urine sample can be collected at any time of the day and may be used to detect the presence of various substances.

Midstream “Clean-Catch” Urine Specimen

Midstream “clean-catch” urine collection allows a specimen not contaminated from external sources to be obtained without catheterization. It is the most common method of obtaining urine specimens from adults, particularly men. Active Plus Home Health Care, Inc. nurses follow the “clean-catch” protocol to ensure accurate results from an uncontaminated sample.

Timed Urine Specimens

Urine may be collected over a two-hour, four-hour, or 24-hour window. The 24-hour window allows doctors to see the total amounts of waste the kidneys are eliminating throughout the day. The test is always begun on an empty bladder so that the collected urine samples are not “left over” from previous hours.

Blood Cultures

Blood culture is done to identify a disease-causing organism in the blood, particularly for patients experiencing a high temperature for an unknown reason.

Active Plus Home Health Care, Inc. nurses oversee the collection, labeling, and delivery of all specimens to the laboratory. They follow strict protocol for each specimen to ensure the accuracy of each test result. We encourage patients to reach out to one of our staff members to learn more about specimen collection services.