Aims and objectives

Theory and background

Urine collection

Listed below are a few examples of different collection types;

Routine sample of urine

MSSU – mid stream sample of urine (most common collection method)

First Pass Urine– first few drops of urine, eg; in Chlamydia screening

CSU – catheter specimen of urine

EMU – early morning urine

24 hour urine

Some methods of collection;

Paediatrics- Urine bag

Catheterised patients– (using needle free collection port)


Images above supplied and permission granted by B. Braun Medical Ltd

There are also many further types of devices that can be fitted to urine bottles to aid collection or urine can be collected in a sterile pot before transfer to a specimen bottle


There are various ways of collecting urine- find out what is recommended by your Trust.

If the sample is to go for laboratory analysis/ culture then the process should be aseptic.

Specimen bottles may contain boric acid, please gently agitate bottle to mix contents

MSU is the recommended routine collection method.

Periurethral cleaning is only recommended if the sample is to go for analysis (water is considered sufficient).  The first part of voided urine is discarded and, without interrupting the flow, approximately 10mL is collected into a CE marked leak proof container, or a sterile pot and transferred to a sample bottle. The remaining urine is discarded. (Standards unit, PHE June 2017, pg 24)

National guidance on this is below;


Consider the tests that are required and ensure that you know how to read the strip.

Prepare your equipment before you begin

You should be bare below the elbows, and hair off your collar.

You must put on a pair of gloves and a plastic apron prior to opening the sample container and wash your hands when you finish.

Take a moment to consider the colour and turbidity (cloudiness of the urine) as these may be significant – and be linked to pathology or dietary and drug causes.

There are many variations in practice, you may write the results on a scrap piece of paper to transfer to the patient notes in a clean environment. Some clinical placements will have a machine that will analyse the dipstick and print the results, please check procedures in your working environment.

Open the test strip container and remove a strip. Replace the top immediately as exposed strips absorb atmospheric moisture and renders the test zones inaccurate.

Do not contaminate the strips by placing them on a table, use a clean surface or clean blue roll.

Briefly (no longer than one second) dip the test strip into the urine to wet all the test zones. There may be a control zone at the bottom of the strip- this does not need wetting

Withdraw strip, dragging the edge along the rim of the container to remove excess fluid.

Use the second hand of a watch to time the period since dipping. Take care as different tests require different times.

Place the strip on a piece of clean blue roll.

Compare test zones with the colour scale on the side of the strip container at the time indicated by the manufacturer.

The colours are stable for at least another minute allowing plenty of time for reading. NOTE your results.

Documenting results

Some do’s and don’ts

References and other useful resources