Diagnostic Testing and Lab Values Self-Study Course

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are responsible for providing safe, competent and quality care to clients. It is an expectation of practice that they will critically appraise all assessment data to arrive at the best nursing care for each individual client. This course provides information and learning activities related to diagnostic tests and laboratory (lab) values, one source of client assessment data.

Blood testThe LPN should understand the rationale for conducting specific diagnostic and laboratory tests when delivering care, as well as the implications of the results of those tests. The course lists common diagnostic and lab tests and values in an organized manner, with opportunities for participants to test their knowledge through short case studies and interactive quizzes.

Entry level LPNs are expected to meet the knowledge requirement for obtaining, assessing and monitoring diagnostic tests and lab values commonly used in healthcare. This course is intended to review and extend the LPN’s knowledge pertaining to diagnostic tests and lab values so that safe and timely care may be delivered to clients.

To access a learning activity, simply click on the Link. After you have completed an activity, return to this page to proceed to the next activity.

Course Content and Exercises

Part I: Diagnostic Procedures

  1. Read Introduction, Module 1 and Module 2 in the Study Guide (PDF | Digital)
  2. Case Studies – An interactive exercise with several scenarios designed to test your knowledge of the appropriate applications, interpretation and possible complications of diagnostic health testing.
  3. Diagnostic Procedures Quiz – This quiz is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of the 20 commonly used diagnostic procedures described in the Study Guide. (25 questions randomly selected from a pool of 80 items).

Part II: Laboratory Tests

  1. Read Module 3 and Module 4 in the Study Guide (PDF | Digital)
  2. Do Lab Tests knowledge check – A short quiz on which laboratory tests to order for different complaints.
  3. Common Lab Tests Quiz – This quiz is designed to assess your knowledge of and understanding of the 32 chemical, hematology and urine laboratory tests described in the Study Guide. (25 questions from 90 items).


Additional Resources

  1. Study Guide I (PDF | Digital) – The complete Guide with all of the modules providing information about diagnostic health testing and laboratory values.
  2. Diagnostics Procedures App – This learning app provides easy look-up information on the 20 common diagnostic procedures described in the Study Guide. The data provided on each diagnostic test includes description, indications, procedure, interfering factors and nursing implications.
  3. Common Lab Tests App – This learning app provides easy look-up information on 32 chemical, hematology, and urine lab tests described in the Study Guide. The data provided on each test includes normal range, indications, test explanation, purpose, interfering factors, and results and significance.
  4. My Alberta Health (Tests and Treatments). Goverment of Alberta, 2017. https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/tests-treatments/Pages/default.aspx


Final Examination

Final Examination – This final exam consists of 60 randomly selected questions from a pool of 170 items. A printable CLPNA Certificate of Completion is available upon passing this exam with a score of 80% or better. If you are an Alberta LPN, please enter your Registration Number when requested. Everyone else, leave in the default number. If you want a copy of the Final Exam Results e-mailed to yourself (or anyone else), enter the appropriate e-mail address. Otherwise, leave it blank. (Results are ONLY e-mailed if you have passed the exam).


Course Evaluation

Course Evaluation – Please complete this online survey after finishing this self-study course. Your feedback and comments will greatly assist CLPNA in developing and delivering effective, quality nursing educational resources.


Supplementary Practice Quizzes and Learning Apps

SI Units of Measurement: Diagnostic and laboratory test results throughout most of the world (except United States) are reported in SI units. Use this quiz to review and refresh your knowledge of these SI measurement units. (25 questions from 55).

Diagnostic Tests I: Assess and refresh your general knowledge of common diagnostic tests, their applications and limitations. (25 questions from 85).

Diagnostic Tests II: Test and review your knowledge of 63 specific diagnostic / laboratory tests that use analyses of biopsies, cultures, fluids, stool, sputum, urine and other studies. (25 questions from 85).

Diagnostic Tests III: Assess and refresh your knowledge of 60 specific diagnostic / laboratory tests that use blood for analyses. (25 questions from 80).

Diagnostic Tests IV: Test and review your knowledge of another 57 specific blood-based diagnostic / laboratory tests. (25 questions from 80).

Diagnostic Tests V: Assess and refresh your knowledge of 46 electrodiagnostic, endoscopic, manometric and ultrasound diagnostic / laboratory tests used to assess diseases and disorders. (25 questions from 76).

Diagnostic Tests VI: Test and review your knowledge of 45 nuclear scan and x-ray diagnostic / laboratory tests and their common applications. (25 questions from 75).

Critical Diagnostic Test Values: Review and refresh your knowledge of the critical values of some diagnostic and laboratory tests – results that indicate immediate medical attention is required. The critical values in this quiz are presented in SI units. (25 questions from 75).

Diagnostic Tests I App: This learning app contains data on 180 laboratory tests that analyze blood, biopsies, cultures, fluids, stools, sputum and urine to assist in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of human diseases and disorders. The information provided includes the test name; its appropriate indications / applications; the specimen(s) that are analyzed; the normal ranges for results; and any critical values. Normal laboratory values are expressed in SI units; conventional units are presented in parenthesis ( ) after the SI units.

Diagnostic Tests II App: This learning app contains data on 91 electrodiagnostic, endoscopic, manometric, nuclear scan, ultrasound and x-ray tests used to confirm, monitor and treat human diseases and disorders. The information provided includes the test name; its appropriate indications / applications; the technology used;and normal findings.


Technology Notes

The Practice Quizzes and Final Exam can be completed on regular browsers, tablets and smart phones. For iPhones and iPads, download and install the FREE iSpring viewer from the iTunes Store. For Android devices, iSpring Play is available here. The quizzes can also be downloaded and saved on your mobile device and completed off-line at your convenience.

To view and download the PDF/PRINT documents requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you are using these quizzes / games / final exam for class assignments or continuing education credits, and want a copy of the Results for your records, enter your name when requested. Otherwise, use Guest and proceed with the quiz / game / exam. No results or scores are recorded or tracked!