How long does it take to get lab results

Nurses General Nursing


  1. How long to stat lab results?

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      20 minutes
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74 members have participated

When you send a stat lab off how long does it take to get you results?


1,577 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

Depends on what the test is--whether it's a CBC or a CMP. CMP's take longer. Either way, I wait at least 45 min to an hour!


427 Posts

I suppose i should of specified. We can't get CMP's stat only BMP's


195 Posts

Well,I guess it depends on where one works....just left a facility where it would take more than an hour to get whatever you wanted STAT... sometimes the lab techs would have the results ready and would send them via computer/printer. Now...all that was fine and good unless the workload was horrid and then again it may be that you are working with " that's not my patient"staff members...sometimes the lab techs would call the abnormal results. One morning I drew a PTT from my patient at 0130 and entered it as a STAT...I called every 30 minutes and all I was told was that "technical difficulties" had occurred and the results would be called to me when done...OK...I understand "technical difficulties"...we have all had,I waited and waited and continued to call to see of there had been any progress made in repairing the "technical problems"....The pt had been on Heparin therapy only 12 hours but you know how we always have "the worst case scenario" in our heads!!!!!!!!! I left at the end of the shift,my dialing finger "blistered" from the frequent calls. BUT...I continued to call from home to ask about the results and the STAT results were finally obtained around 0930...were therapeutic,pt was not endangered...phew!!!!!!!

Then again, another nurse had a HELLUVA night going on from just the stuff left over from another 2345 the "night" person in lab called and wanted to know if we were aware that pt so and so had a STAT PTT done at 1730 and the results were 363 sec's!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY MOLEY!!!!!!!!! Oh yes we took the appropriate action and stopped the Heparin, called the MD,filled out the incident report. As a result of that incident report,the night shift nurse was blamed for not knowing what the PTT value was although she had been told in report the PTT was therapeutic.

The lab personell were defended to the hilt because they had no "real normal values for a PTT"!!!!!!!!! Did a little bell not go off at 363 sec's?????????

After 3 years of this sort of pure unadulterated CRAP...I left and have no intentions of ever darkening its doorways again.

ooooops...sorry...was on a tangent!!!!!!!

MY POINT!!!!!!!! It should not take all night/day for a lab result to be obtained...and nurses should be allowed to be nurses.

I have rambled...forgive me.... should not take over an hour for anything ordered STAT to be obtained...

Doesn't it just piss you off because nurses are held responsible for the jobs of every other department in the hospital!!!!!!!!


I FEEL BETTER NOW........NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!


1,091 Posts

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

actually, they claim the national average is 43 minutes.

however, we were 41 minutes, before they changed some things to try and speed up the process. now we are at about 33 minutes average!

what you need to remember is it takes longer for some labs than others.

we get cbc/diffs and pt/inr/ptt's back in 2 - 10 minutes.

we get chemistry and cardiac stuff back in 23 - 50 minutes.

anything like lipds, cholesteral, tibc, fe+, rvr etc. > 40.

i guess your time will be really skewed, if you do a lot of sed rates or c-reactive proteins....lmao!!! :D

me :)


1,961 Posts

On the floor we send alot of CBC's and H&H's. In the nursery it's CBC's and bili's. I've never gotten a lab back in less than 2 hours.

Slow in Ohio,


Specializes in Mental health, organization and leadership.

Well. It depends, if the tests are marked with "acute" it takes about 20 mins. Otherwise about 40 mins- 2 hours depending on what time of day they are sent.

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