Thursday, May 12, 2011

How to Give a Urine Sample

What I want to know is if people who work in medical offices ever do a trial run of the bathrooms they have patients give urine samples in.

The paper towels are on the other side of the room.

The towelettes are on the other side of the room.

The trash can is one of those mini ones with lids and/or it's on the other side of the room.

The shelf, if there is one, is on the other side of the room.

And there's no coat hook.

In every bathroom I've ever given a urine sample in.

You balance your belongings on the flattest, cleanest surface in the room and depants. You open the towelette, wipe with it, and then lunge, with your underpants down, to the other side of the room to throw it out. (This time, they had me wipe with THREE towelettes -- left, right, and center. Three lunges. A butt like J.Lo's.)

You lunge to the shelf, if there is one, or you lunge to the sink, or you reach around to the back of the toilet to get your cup. You screw off the lid, position the cup, pee into the toilet, pee into the cup, pee into the toilet, and squat there, letting the cup drip between your legs into the toilet as you plot your next move.

You screw the lid on the cup. You use the three fingers of your lid-holding hand that didn't touch the cup to roll off some toilet paper and sort of squish it around the cup to kind of wipe it off or something. You roll off some more toilet paper to wipe -- using all your fingers because now they probably all have touched pee -- and recognize that wiping yourself with the opposite hand from the one you usually wipe with is kind of weird.

Now you are dry and so are able to waddle across the room, underpants still down, to use the hand you think is cleaner -- probably the hand you didn't pee on while peeing into the cup -- to open the door to the little metal pee house where your pee will sit until the nurse opens the door on the other side to let it out. You see that someone else's pee is already there to keep it company.

You waddle to the sink and push it on using one or both wrists. You rinse, rinse, rinse out of consideration for the next person to use the soap dispenser before moving on to suds up.

Paper towels. Flush.

Pull up pants.

This is a contest with Deep Blue or the Jeopardy-playing computer: who can design the more efficient algorithm for giving a urine sample, a computer or a human?

Or, who can design a better bathroom for giving a urine sample, a human or a hamster?

Well, the hamster didn't invent the shelf.


  1. hysterical! i think i'm more comfortable peeing in the woods than giving a urine sample.

  2. The "fun" thing about being pregnant is that you have to leave a sample at every single visit. Your post just reminded me of why I like my OB's office so much. Everything can be reached while sitting on the toilet, because at 8.5 months pregnant, I don't lunge anymore. At least, I don't lunge without falling on my face.

  3. I don't think male physicians understand the difficulty for women (especially as they get older) to give a urine sample. You pull down your pants, but use one hand to still hold them off the floor, but you "have" to step back to be over the toilet, then the inside of your underwear probably touches the bottom of toilet. And for some, knowing which way the urine is going to come out is a problem (even Dr. Oz knows about that and answered that question). There are cups made to help with this problem, but it seems no offices (even urologists) use them. It's time for the medical community to get up to speed, and help with this. !!

  4. I wouldn't be surprised if the bathrooms in these doctors' offices have a camera hooked up video taping us doing our urine specimen calesthenics, and on their break the staff are entertained just watching us going through these crazy antics...LOL! Joyce J.