Living with Diabetes

Injection Techniques (Part 2)

Insulin pen is a portable device that is used to give insulin shots. It contains an insulin cartridge and a disposable needle. The pen must be discarded after all the insulin has been used. The insulin pen has some advantages over the syringe. Insulin pen is easy to use, accurate, and less painful. Furthermore, dose numbers are more visible and most pens are provided with audible clicks when dialing the dose, making the pen more convenient for people with vision impairment. This article will discuss the basic instructions for using insulin pens. 
Prepare your equipments:
Get started:
  1. Wash your hands with water and soap and dry them.
  2. Remove the pen cap.
  3. Remove the protective seal from the needle and screw it securely onto the pen.
  4. Pull off the needle outer cap and keep it.
  5. When using the cloudy insulin, roll the pen between your hand palms until the insulin is uniformly suspended.
Every time a new pen is used, you will need to prime it. Priming means to inject a small sample of insulin dose into the air, usually no more than two units. This indicates that the pen is working properly and removes any air bubbles that might be trapped in the cartridge. Consequently, it allows an accurate amount of insulin to be delivered.
By now the pen should be ready for use. Ensure that the dose selector is set to zero.
  1. Dial the number of units prescribed for you by turning the dose selector upward (the dose can be corrected by turning the dose selector upward or downward).
  2. Remove the needle inner cap and discard it. DO NOT wipe the needle with alcohol.
  3. With your other hand, gently pinch your skin between two fingers and insert the needle into the skin fold either straight or at a 45o angle.
  4. When the needle is fully inserted into the skin, press the push button of the spring plunger down with your thumb.
  5. Leave the needle into the skin for at least five seconds to make sure that the whole amount of insulin is given. 
  6. Slowly withdraw the needle from the body.
  7. Put the outer needle cap back and unscrew the needle.
  8. Do NOT wipe the injected spot with alcohol. Place a dry cotton ball or tissue if needed. 
  9. Discard the used needle into a plastic or metal container that has a secured lid. 
Tips to remember: