Overview and Objectives
Main Topic
Subtopic 1: Physical Examination of Urine
1.1, 1.2, 1.3
  Subtopic 1 Summary
Subtopic 2: Chemical Testing
2.1, 2.2, 2.3
  Subtopic 2 Summary
Subtopic 3: Microscopic Examination of Urine Sediment
3.1, 3.2
  Subtopic 3 Summary
Module Summary

Module Developer

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Activity 1.1
Physical Examination of Urine


  1. Practice the procedure(s) for performing a physical examination of urine, specific gravity by refractometer and specific gravity by urinometer following the step-by-step procedure and using the worksheet(s).

  2. Demonstrate your understanding of this lesson by:

    • Completing a written examination successfully,

    • Performing the procedure(s) for the physical examination of urine, specific gravity by refractometer, and specific gravity by urinometer satisfactorily for the instructor. All steps must be completed as listed.

Note: Consult manufacturers' directions or textbook reference before using instruments or performing tests.

Materials and Equipment

  • Gloves

  • Hand disinfectant

  • Puncture-proof container for sharps

  • Clear plastic conical centrifuge tubes

  • Test tube rack

  • Fresh urine sample

  • Dropping pipet

  • Refractometer or urinometer

  • Distilled water

  • Urinalysis report form or worksheet

  • Soft tissue or soft paper towels

  • Biohazard container

  • 10% chlorine bleach solution or other surface disinfectant

  • Urine control solutions


Record in the comment section any problems encountered while practicing the procedure (or have a fellow student or the instructor evaluate your performance).

  1. Wash hands and put on gloves.

  2. Assemble equipment and materials.

  3. Obtain a fresh urine specimen. If specimen has been refrigerated, allow it to reach room temperature before proceeding with tests.

  4. Record the specimen identification on the worksheet (or report form).

  5. Mix the urine gently by swirling and pour approximately 10 mL into a clear, conical centrifuge tube.

  6. Observe the color of the urine (straw, yellow, red, etc.) and record on the worksheet.

  7. Notice the odor of the urine. If unusual, record in "odor" comment section.

  8. Observe and record the appearance or transparency of the urine (clear, slightly cloudy, turbid).

  9. Measure the specific gravity using both the refractometer and urinometer (see procedures).

  10. Discard urine sample properly.

  11. Disinfect and clean equipment and return to proper storage.

  12. Clean work area with disinfectant.

  13. Remove and discard gloves appropriately.

  14. Wash hands with hand disinfectant.