Medical Tests


Doctors order blood tests, X-rays, and other tests to help diagnose medical problems. Perhaps you don't know why you need a particular test or you don't understand how it will help you. Here are some questions to ask:

  • How is the test done?
  • What kind of information will the test provide?
  • Is this test the only way to find out that information?
  • What are the benefits and risks of having this test?
  • How accurate is the test?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for the test? (What you do or don't do may affect the accuracy of the test results.)
  • Will the test be uncomfortable?
  • How long will it take to get the results, and how will I get them?
  • What's the next step after the test?

Source: MedlinePlus and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Lab Tests Online
In an effort to help patients better understand the medical tests they may undergo, this website gives insight on how results are interpreted; the reliability of lab testing; coping with test pain, discomfort and anxiety associated with it; and staying healthy. It also lets you search for specific tests.

Merck Manuals—Online Medical Library
This online medical encyclopedia provides information about common medical tests including types of tests, risks and results, lists of blood tests with reference ranges, and diagnostic procedures with body area or sample tested and short descriptions of the tests.

Resources in Larimer County

Search for a Healthcare Provider
Search this site for a doctor or clinic in greater Fort Collins.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about medical tests, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

Still Looking?

Health and Healthcare Statistics
Looking for health and healthcare statistics at the local, state and national level? This collection of web links will help you find the health data, including local preventive screening rates, you're looking for. Great for researchers, grant writers, students and the curious.

Best Health Sites
This collection of web links, organized by site type, will help you find the health information you're looking for.

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