How Often Should You Get Blood Work Done?

Apr 12, 2022

The frequency with which healthcare professionals order blood work depends on the needs of the patient. Blood tests often are requested as a regular part of annual physical exams, and results are tracked over the patient’s lifetime. Test results also help determine diagnoses for patients who are experiencing health challenges. Medical practitioners and individual consumers rely on TOPLAB® to provide fast, confidential, and accurate routine blood tests for patients in New Jersey and nationwide.

Why Do I Need Blood Work?

Your doctor may have ordered blood tests as part of your regular checkup. Comparing this data over time helps both you and your medical provider make decisions about how to maintain or improve your health. If you are concerned about your health, blood work can provide key information. Test results help evaluate overall health, as well as narrow down a diagnosis. Understanding the results of your blood work empowers informed decision-making and self-care.

These are some of the standard blood work tests performed at TOPLAB®:

Complete Blood Count

This test checks the level of components in the platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells, and measures the hematocrit, hemoglobin, and red blood cell count. Results of the complete blood count can help identify problems in the immune system, clotting mechanisms, iron and vitamin deficiencies, or infections. Cancers, such as leukemia and others, also may be identified.

Basic Metabolic Panel

This test checks the levels of a variety of compounds and chemicals, including creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, sodium, glucose, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, electrolytes, and chloride. Results can help identify problems with blood sugar levels and diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and the kidneys.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

In addition to the basic metabolic panel, this test measures substances related to liver function, including albumin, total protein, bilirubin, and these liver enzymes:

  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • Alanine transaminase (ALT)
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)

Lipid Panel

Also called a cholesterol test, this measures triglycerides and arterial plaque. Fasting for 8 to twelve hours before the blood draw may be required. You will receive results that measure two types of cholesterol:

  • HDL high-density lipoprotein
  • LDL low-density lipoprotein

Thyroid Panel

This test checks the function of your thyroid, a small gland in the neck, which produces hormones that affect metabolism and energy levels. Results are indicated for the following hormones:

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): This governs hormonal release levels.
  • Triiodothyronine (T3): This governs temperature, heart rate, and metabolism.
  • Thyroxine (T4): This governs growth levels and metabolism.

Along with these basic tests, blood work also involves specialized tests, such as:

  • C-reactive protein
  • Coagulation panel
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Cardiac biomarkers

How Is Blood Work Administered?

Wondering how to get started with blood work? Your doctor can order blood work with a prescription or laboratory requisition form. Paperwork might be sent to the lab, handed to you, or sent to you electronically. Find out whether you need to fast before the blood work. You can make an appointment with the laboratory of your choice or go to one recommended by your medical practitioner.

Once you arrive for your appointment, a nurse or specially trained phlebotomist will ask you to sit down, and they will double-check your identity and verify the tests for which they plan to draw blood. They may ask whether you want the sample taken from your left or right arm, or they may examine your veins to determine which arm will be easier for the procedure.

After cleaning the area where they plan to draw blood, the technician will tie a band around the upper arm. This helps veins show more clearly. You will be asked to make a fist. The needle is carefully inserted into a vein and collects blood into one or several small tubes.

When the collection is complete, the needle is removed, the band is taken from the upper arm, and a bandage is applied to the area where the needle was inserted.

Blood Work Test Results

Most blood tests are available in a few days and can be sent by email, fax, or the postal service. Depending on the regulations of your state, the laboratory may be required to send the results to your doctor’s office. You should always discuss your blood work test results with a healthcare professional.

If results are abnormal, the nurse or doctor may call and talk to you on the phone. Or they may have you make another appointment so that you can discuss the results in person with your healthcare practitioner. Take advantage of their specialized knowledge, so that you can understand the results and any ramifications for your health.

Do You Need to Schedule Blood Work?

Offering fast, confidential, accurate blood work to both individual consumers and medical practices throughout the U.S., TOPLAB® is a reliable source for blood tests. Ask your physician about scheduling blood work, or contact us today to learn more about how we provide blood work to patients in NJ and nationwide.