Genetic Test FAQs
We are often asked about preparation for tests, fasting and tests for children. Below is a list of the most common things we are asked.
For most genetic tests you will not need to fast. However, if your doctor has asked you to fast or they have written ‘fasting’ on your request form, it is required.
Unless your doctor advises otherwise, you should continue taking any current medication.
Many of our collection centres are open on Saturday morning and a limited number are open on Sunday morning. To find a weekend collection centre please contact your local collection centre.
If you are elderly, infirm, or recovering from major surgery, your doctor may request our collectors to visit your home. However, this is a limited service for patients with a genuine need and may incur a fee. Please contact your local collection centre.
Children need special testing and collection services as well as extra support in preparing for their tests.
Children between five and 12 years can have their collection performed at any of our centres. However, we strongly recommend talking to the centre ahead of time and making an appointment to ensure a stress-free experience.
Our littlest patients
We provide special collection for the under-fives performed by collectors who have been trained in advanced paediatric care. Please call ahead to make an appointment.
A blood test involves taking blood from a vein in your arm. Our collection staff are highly trained in this, and all our equipment is sterile.
It is vital we ensure all your personal details are correct. All patients must provide a Medicare card as part of the identification process. Our collector is required to show you labelling on the specimens, to confirm all your details.
If you feel uncomfortable, inform the collector. You may prefer to lie down if you are feeling faint or nervous. Once a suitable vein is found, the collector will cleanse the skin with an alcohol swab and then insert a sterile needle into your vein to obtain the sample.
Some tests may require more than one tube of blood collected. All tubes will be labelled with your name and date of birth. After the needle has been removed, pressure should be applied to the site to minimise bleeding.
It is important that you avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise over the next 24 hours to avoid bruising or bleeding. If you have any concerns, please contact us prior to attending our collection centres.
Your doctor has requested the pathology tests to be carried out. If you are concerned about the necessity of these tests, we encourage you to discuss this with your doctor.
Our collection staff are highly trained and making you feel at ease is their priority. We encourage you to lie down if you are feeling uncomfortable. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing may also be helpful.
Please inform our staff if you are feeling anxious so that we may assist you any way we can.
No. Our collection centres use single-use sterile equipment when taking blood samples. Our specimen collection staff are highly trained in infection control.
All our collection staff are extensively trained. They learn to take samples from a wide range of patients, including those with 'difficult' veins.
Our staff only make two attempts at taking your blood. If unsuccessful, you may be requested to return another time. This may seem inconvenient, but it reduces the risk of problems and minimise discomfort.
Some tests can be performed on such samples but typically they are not as useful as the quantity of DNA can be low and quality substandard compared to blood. If your doctor has indicated that such a sample is preferred, please call your local collection centre to ensure they have the necessary equipment to collect such samples.
- Our collection staff confirm your details with you at every visit, to ensure we have all the correct and current information.
- Each sample is carefully labelled after collection.
- A laboratory number is assigned to your form and samples to ensure they are not mixed up. This number is unique and ensures the correct tests are performed on each sample.
- We have other checks in place throughout the testing procedure to ensure the testing is performed at the highest possible standard.
Genetic test results have highly variable times to produce results and that may include transport of samples from one state to another specialised laboratory. Please visit our test listing for an indication of when you can expect the results to be made available to your doctor. Please contact your doctor for your results.
We recommend that you discuss your results with your referring doctor and ask them for a copy of your results during your consultation.
In Australia genetic information, which includes your personal medical history and results of genetic tests and information about the health of your parents, children, brothers and sisters can have implications for life insurance policies. Please click here for more information.