Lab available in Big Sandy, MT

Big Sandy Medical Center provides Laboratory Services. You have two options to get your labs collected. You can either provide an order from your provider or you can request your own lab work through Patient Directed Testing.

The Laboratory is open Monday thru Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM for outpatient services. If you need to have labs drawn outside of business hours, please call the Laboratory at 406-378-3912 to make special arrangements. The collected samples are taken to our in-house laboratory, where our skilled laboratory technicians will process and analyze them. All test results will be stored electronically in your electronic health record. If your provider has ordered lab work, results will be phoned, faxed and/or mailed to them as soon as possible.
Results from Patient Directed Testing labs will be available on your electronic health record and mailed in 2-4 business days.

The Lab is accredited by the State of Montana and CLIA and participate in national proficiency testing programs.

What is a fasting blood draw or fasting labs?

If your healthcare provider has asked you to fast before your blood test, you may certainly have some questions about what that actually means! Fasting means not eating or drinking anything for a period of time. What you consume ends up in your blood stream and can change your results significantly from meal to meal. Fasting labs offer a truer picture of your health than the changes that may occur after eating/drinking.

FAQs about fasting labs

How long should you fast for a blood test?

Typically, you should fast before blood work anywhere between 10 and 12 hours. Usually, people choose to do blood tests first thing in the morning. This way, you can fast overnight, when you generally don't eat anyway.

Types of fasted blood tests

Blood tests are a quick, effective way for doctors to check your health and to see if certain treatments are working. Blood tests you may need to fast for include:
Basic metabolic panel: Measures overall body function.
Blood glucose test: Measures glucose (sugar).
Cholesterol test: Measures cholesterol and triglycerides, a type of fat. Also called lipid panel or lipid profile.
Liver function test: Measures liver health by checking proteins, liver enzymes and bilirubin.
Renal function panel: Measures kidney function.

Can you drink water before a fasting blood test?

Yes. You can drink as much water as you want, but it should be plain. Avoid lemon-flavored and carbonated waters, as well as teas until after your test.

Can you drink black coffee when fasting for blood work?

No. Don't drink anything but water. Coffee contains caffeine. It's also a diuretic, which removes water from your body. Many people think coffee counts toward your fluid requirements. However, it makes you urinate more, which can affect some of your lab results. So, get your blood test done, then get your cup of coffee!

Can you take medication before a fasting blood test?

You can take over-the-counter and prescription medications unless your doctor advises you otherwise. On that note, it's definitely a good idea to tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you're taking to avoid something potentially skewing lab results.
There's no indication that daily medications - such as blood thinners and blood pressure meds - will cause any problems with fasting blood work, so definitely continue taking them unless told otherwise. And if you have a headache, taking an ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain reliever should not cause any issues.

Our Test Menu

The laboratory offers a large array of tests performed in-house encompassing all areas of the Laboratory.

  • Hemoglobin A1C
  • HDL Cholesterol
  • Albumin
  • LDL Cholesterol
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • ALTI
  • Ammonia
  • Amylase
  • AST (SGOT)
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • BUN
  • Calcium
  • Total Cholesterol
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Chloride
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Creatinine
  • C Reactive Protein
  • Bilirubin, Direct

  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Iron
  • Fasting Glucose
  • Glucose, Random
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Iron Panel
  • Potassium
  • Lipase
  • Lipid Panel
  • Electrolyte Panel
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Phosphorus
  • Renal Function Panel
  • Bilirubin, Total
  • Triglyceride
  • Total Protein
  • Uric Acid
  • Serum Pregnancy

  • Arterial Blood Gas
  • Venous Blood Gas
  • Troponin I
  • hs CRP
  • BNP
  • Cardiac Panel
  • Alcohol (ETHANOL)
  • Lactic Acid
  • Troponin I High Sensitivity
  • Microalbumin/Creatinine
  • hs CRP
  • Total PSA
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D-25
  • Ferritin
  • Folic Acid
  • Free T3
  • Free T4


  • CBC
  • CBC w/Auto Diff
  • Hemoglobin & Hematocrit

  • Hemoglobin
  • Hematocrit
  • Platelet Count

  • Red Blood Count
  • White Blood Count


  • Prothrombin Time
  • Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • INR
  • D-Dimer


  • Urinalysis Complete
  • Urine Pregnancy
  • Urine Dipstick Only
  • Urine Drug Screen
  • Urinalysis Reflex

Microbiology/PCR Testing

  • Rapid Strep
  • Covid-19
  • C Diff
  • Respiratory Panel
  • MRSA Skin
  • Chlamydia/Gonorrhea
  • Strep Throat
  • MRSA Nasal
  • Vaginal Panel

Tests in BOLD indicate tests available for Patient Directed Testing.