Laboratory and diagnostic testing. The words themselves often conjure up cold and impersonal images of needles, specimens lined up in collection containers, and high-tech electronic equipment. But they do not stand alone. They are tied to, bound with, and tell of health or disease in the blood and tissue of a person. Laboratory and diagnostic studies augment the health-care provider’s assessment of the quality of an individual’s physical being. Test results guide the plans and interventions geared toward strengthening life’s quality and endurance. Beyond the pounding noise of the MRI, the cold steel of the x-ray table, the sting of the needle, the invasive collection of fluids and tissue, and the probing and inspection is the gathering of evidence that supports the health-care provider’s ability to discern the course of a disease and the progression of its treatment. Laboratory and diagnostic data must be viewed with thought and compassion, however, as well as with microscopes and machines. We must remember that behind the specimen and test result is the person from whom it came, a person who is someone’s son, daughter, mother, father, husband, wife, or friend. This book is written to help health-care providers in their understanding and interpretation of laboratory and diagnostic procedures and their outcomes. Just as important, it is dedicated to all health-care professionals who experience the wonders in the science of laboratory and diagnostic testing, performed and interpreted in a caring and efficient manner. The authors continue to enhance and update four main areas in this new edition: organization of the content, pathophysiology that affects test results, patient safety, and patient/family education with expected patient outcomes. Organization of the content: Time is a precious commodity. The content in the 8th edition has been significantly revised to put the “need to know” information at the top of each study, in the order we imagine readers might prioritize what they need to know. Portability is another important feature of a comprehensive reference book.
To that end, repetitive content from the individual studies has been consolidated in the:
• Laboratory/Diagnostic Procedural Checklist for Students
• Appendix A: Patient Preparation and Specimen Collection • Appendix B: Laboratory Critical Findings
• Appendix C: Diagnostic Critical Findings