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Urine checking in a community pharmacy is an important service that benefits both health care professionals and patients alike. It could be offered as a private service or one that could potentially be commissioned by the local CCG.

When patients arrive at a Community Pharmacy seeking assessment from the Pharmacist, they could be presenting with a minor urinary ailment or symptoms of an acute urinary emergency.

Typical UTI symptoms include:

  • Frequency and urgency of passing urine
  • Dysuria (pain and difficulty in passing urine) or a burning sensation
  • Odourful or cloudy urine
  • Haematuria (blood in the urine – visible / non-visible)
  • Low abdominal pain
  • Lethargy and feeling unwell
  • Fever
  • Costovertebral angle tenderness (here, pyelonephritis should be considered)
  • In older people, changes in behaviour such as severe confusion or agitation

By ensuring we take a comprehensive history of their complaint and assessing the patient using the tools we may have available, we can confidently assess our patient to rule out any life threatening conditions, prioritise the care they need and initiate, recommend or signpost for treatment if appropriate.

As a Community Pharmacist, you will be able to treat patients with an uncomplicated UTI depending on the PGD you have implemented.

The only equipment needed is and  but it should be advised however that definitive diagnosis should not be based purely on the urinalysis result and that associated symptoms and history all be taken into consideration.

Red flags when examining the patient with lower abdominal pain:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling hot and shivery
  • Visible/non-visible haematuria (blood in the urine) – menstruation should be ruled out in females
  • The presence of back pain or fever increases the probability of UUTI (upper UTI) and urine culture should be considered as the clinical risks associated with treatment failure are increased.

The above patients need to be referred on to their GP.

Our e-learning course is designed to give you the knowledge and understanding of how to undertake a relevant history, the basic clinical examination associated with a UTI and the skills to perform a urinary assessment for use within a Community Pharmacy.

If you are interested in our one-stop shop, please go to: UTI Training for Community Pharmacist (online and PGD package)

Written by Jane Charman, Wednesday 11th November 2019

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