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Obtaining a urine sample for culture

Collection of urine specimen for culture of microorganisms.


– Obtain sufficient volume of urine for culture. – Correct handling of the sample.


– Urine basin. – Clamp forceps. – Equipment necessary for genital hygiene. – Equipment needed for bottle and wedge handling.


– Non-sterile gloves. – Sterile gloves. – 1 Sterile urine bottle. – Antiseptic solution. – 1 Syringe of 10 cc. – Sterile gauze. – 1 Tube of 10 ml sterile. – Identification label. – Adhesive collection bag (children, infants, incontinent persons). – Nursing records. – Necessary material for genital hygiene. – Material necessary for wedge or bottle placement.


– Perform hand washing. – Prepare the material. – Preserve the patient’s privacy. – Inform the patient of the procedure. – Request the collaboration of the patient and family. – If the patient is autonomous, explain the urine collection technique: hygiene of the genitals but do not dry, discard the first portion of urine from urination, collect about 10 ml of urine in the sterile bottle and close it immediately.

If the patient is bedridden:

1. put on non-sterile gloves.2. Wash genitals. 3. Dry with sterile compress. 4. Put on sterile gloves and apply antiseptic to the genital area. 5. Instruct the patient to initiate urination. 6. Discard first portion in wedge or bottle. 7. Place the sterile bottle under the urine stream without touching the genitals. 8. Collect 20-30 ml, cap the bottle and clean the outside if it has been stained.

If the patient has a urinary catheter, sterile procedure:

1. Clean the area next to the collecting tube with antiseptic. 2. Clamp or bend the tube at the bottom of this area. 3. Extract the sample by puncture in an upward direction at an angle of 30 to 45º, after having unclamped the probe. 4. Remove the needle and proceed to a new disinfection of the punctured area. 5. Transfer the urine into the sterile container. – Aspirate about 10 ml of urine from the sterile bottle and transfer it to the sterile tube. – In infants the genital cleansing process is similar to that of adults. However, a special bag with an adhesive that is attached to the skin is used to collect the sample. After the infant has urinated the desired amount, the bag is gently peeled off the skin. – If it is difficult to collect from the infant using an adhesive bag, a hole can be made in the front of the diaper in boys and the middle area in girls and a part of the bag can be pushed into this opening. – Leave the patient in a comfortable position. – Remove the material. – Identify the tube and send it to the laboratory with the request. – Remove gloves. – Wash hands. – Record in the nursing documentation: procedure, date and time, incidences and patient’s response.


– If the sample is not sent immediately to the laboratory store in the refrigerator for no more than 8 hours. – Iodine solution may alter some results; chlorhexidine is also valid. – The first urine of the morning is used. – Check that the containers with the samples are perfectly closed.

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