Self-Administer (SC) Injections
The medicine you need must be given in fatty tissue. The steps are described below. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask.
Needles and syringes
Alcohol swabs or gauze
Vial with the medication
Sharps® container (Health Facts for You #4587)
1. Wash your hands well with soap and water. Gather the supplies you need
and place them on a clean, dry surface.
Note: If your syringe is already drawn up, skip steps 2-8.
2. Screw a needle on the syringe hub (if not already done).
3. Vial: Flip off the plastic top. Use an alcohol swab and wipe the rubber
4. Remove the needle cover. Draw air into the syringe by pulling the
plunger back to the desired volume, __________ ml.
See diagram A
5. Insert the needle straight into the vial through the rubber
stopper. Inject air into the bottle by pushing down on the
plunger. See diagram B.
6. Using one hand, turn the vial upside down. Be sure
the needle is in the bottle and below the fluid level.
Draw back the plunger to the correct mark,
_________ ml. See diagram C.
7. Check for air bubbles in the syringe. Bubbles can be removed by flicking the
syringe with your finger.
If the air bubble is at the top of the syringe, push gently on the plunger so
the air goes back into the bottle. Before removing the needle, be sure you
have the right amount or dose in the syringe.
8. Remove the needle from the vial. If you need to put the syringe down, be
sure to cover the needle. This keeps the needle as clean as possible. Be
very careful not to poke yourself or bend the needle.
Now, You Are Ready to Inject
You will inject into the fatty tissue.
These areas are shaded in the picture.
Be sure you rotate the sites rather than
using the same site over and over.
Arms: Use the back of the arm to make sure you inject into the fatty tissue. This can be hard to do on your own.
Thighs: Use the middle and outer areas where you can pinch up tissue.
Abdomen: Do not use the area within one-inch around your navel. Avoid the belt-line area as rubbing may irritate the injection site. Avoid surgical scars.
Buttocks: Use any area where you can pinch up tissue.
9. Clean the area where you will give the shot with
soap and water or an alcohol swab, unless you
were told otherwise. Allow it to dry.
10. Pull the cap straight off the needle using care to avoid poking yourself.
Never touch the needle.
11. With one hand, grasp or pinch up the area surrounding the injection site.
12. With the other hand, hold the syringe like a dart at a 90-degree angle. If
you are thin or giving the injection to a child, hold the syringe at a 45-
13. Insert the needle into the pinched up skin with a quick firm motion.
14. Push slowly down on the plunger until the syringe is empty.
15. Withdraw the needle quickly. If you are taking a blood thinner, apply
pressure for 2-3 minutes to prevent oozing or bruising. Do not massage
the injected area!
16. Do not recap your needle. Dispose of the needle and syringe in a
Sharps® box. You can obtain one of these at any pharmacy.
The Spanish version of this HFFY is #5956.
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: 01/16/2013
Copyright © 01/16/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4844
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