Urine specimens for urinalysis must be tested within 2 hours of specimen collection. Prompt transport of fresh specimens is expected. If unable to transport within this guideline, the specimen must be refrigerated until delivery. 24-hour specimens are unacceptable for urinalysis testing.

Clean Catch for Culture

  • Wash with soap and rinse external genitalia. Catch midstream specimen in a sterile urine container.
  • Must be refrigerated if not plated within 2 hours.
  • No 24-hour specimens.
  • If antibiotic therapy is noted on the requisition, the lab will process with longer incubation.

Urine Collection 2, 12 or 24 Hours and Timed Specimens


24-Hour urine collection containers may be obtained from Supply Chain. The laboratory does not supply collection containers.


Some tests or collection procedures require additives to the timed urine container. Please refer to the individual test listings for details of preservative requirements.

Patient Preparation

Adequately pre-hydrate the patient to assure good urine flow. Dietary restrictions are required for some procedures and are specified in the individual test listings.


  1. Discard this specimen.
  2. Start the collection timing at this point and write information on the bottle.
  3. For the next 24 hours (or required time), save all urine voided by adding to the collection container.
  4. Exactly 24 hours (or required time) from the starting time, have the patient void, completely emptying the bladder. Add this specimen to the collection container. Write this time and date on the bottle.
  5. Stop the collection and label the specimen, and request slip if used, with name and hospital number. All urine parameters (date, time of collection) must be clearly written on the requisition slip. Indicate tests requested on the request form.

Since results are based on the total volume, it is critical that the total volume collected be submitted. The laboratory will measure and report the total volume on all timed urines. Alternatively, it is acceptable to submit an aliquot of a well-mixed, accurately measured urine specimen. The total volume must then be written on the request slip.