The medicine you need must be given in fatty or subcutaneous tissue. The steps are described below.
1. Wash hands well with soap and water. Clean the area where you will give the shot with soap and water or an alcohol pad. Allow it to dry. Sit in a comfortable position so you can clearly see where you will give the shot. Avoid any scars, bruises, or swollen areas.
2. Pull the cap straight off of the needle using care to avoid poking yourself. Keep the needle sterile once you have removed the cap; do not set the needle down or touch the needle. Hold the syringe like a pencil in the hand that you write with.
3. With the other hand, gently pinch the clean spot between your thumb and fingers to make a fold in the skin. Be sure to hold the skin fold until the injection is complete.
4. Insert the needle into the skin fold, holding the syringe at a 90° angle. If you have very little fatty tissue or are using longer needles, you may need to inject at a 45° angle. (See pictures below.) Ask your health care team what is best for you.
5. Reach up with your pointer finger to the syringe plunger. Press down until all of the medicine has been pushed out and into the fatty tissue.
6. Remove the needle by gently and quickly pulling it out and away from the skin fold. You can now let go of the skin fold. Do not rub the site after you are finished. Rubbing may bruise the site or affect how the medicine is absorbed.
7. Drop the used syringe or pen needle - needle first - into the “Sharps Box” or other hard plastic container. Close the lid and move the box out of the reach of children.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 03/06/2012
Copyright © 03/06/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4211
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