10 Ways to Make Intramuscular Testosterone Injections Less PainfulThe typical best way to give yourself a steroid shot patients receive from medical professionals is something called a subcutaneous injection. These injections can deliver vaccines or medicines such as insulin or morphine directly into the fatty tissue under the skin, where they are absorbed by the body. Compared to other means of administering medicine, subcutaneous shots generally contain small amounts of liquid and are absorbed slowly and gradually. Sometimes, patients are directed to give themselves these shots, as is often the case with diabetic patients who have been prescribed insulin. To learn how to administer a shot, see Step 1 below to get started. Ensure a sterile work area.
How to Give a Shot (with Pictures) - wikiHow
The typical "shot" patients receive from medical professionals is something called a subcutaneous injection. These injections can deliver vaccines or medicines such as insulin or morphine directly into the fatty tissue under the skin, where they are absorbed by the body. Compared to other means of administering medicine, subcutaneous shots generally contain small amounts of liquid and are absorbed slowly and gradually.
Sometimes, patients are directed to give themselves these shots, as is often the case with diabetic patients who have been prescribed insulin. To learn how to administer a shot, see Step 1 below to get started. Ensure a sterile work area. Shots penetrate the body's most important defense against disease - the skin. Because of this, care must be taken to prevent the transmission of germs that cause infection.
Begin by washing the area where you will set your materials with soap and water. Wash, dry, and disinfect your hands thoroughly. On a clean, sterilized tray, table, or counter top, lay out the drug to be injected, cotton balls, bandages, alcohol wipes, and a sealed disposable syringe with an unused needle. You may want to lay down a sterile paper liner beforehand for ease of clean-up. One trick physicians use is to set their tools in the order they'll use them in.
Put on sterile gloves. Even though your hands have already been carefully washed, as an added precaution, it's wise to wear sterile disposable gloves. If, at any point, you touch an unclean object or surface, rub your eye, itch yourself, etc. Some medicines can have very precise dosages, which, if exceeded, can cause side effects or even serious problems.
Also, make sure your syringe is large enough to accommodate your dose and that you have enough medicine to give a full dose. Pick an injection site. Because subcutaneous injections are given into the fatty layer beneath the skin, choose an area where fatty tissue accumulates. These locations include the backs of your arms, your sides, your lower belly at least an inch from the belly button and your thighs.
Pick a spot that is at least 1 inch 2. This safety practice is called "rotation". Rotation is done to avoid lipodystrophy, a condition where continuous shots administered in the same area lead to lumpy, damaged flesh in the localized area.
Rotation is very important for diabetic patients because it's easy for lipodystrophy to occur with repeated insulin injections, as the repeated absorption of insulin causes shrinking of the fatty tissue at the site, leading to divots in the skin. This is not reversible, so the best treatment for this common complication is prevention. Remove the vial's cap. Usually, medications given via subcutaneous injection come in small vials with an outer lid and an inner rubber diaphragm.
Take the lid off of the vial and disinfect the rubber top with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol or an alcohol wipe. Open your sealed syringe. Modern subcutaneous injections are given with sealed, disposable needles to lessen the chance of infection. Remove your needle and syringe from its casing. From this point on, handle the needle and syringe with care. If the needle touches anything that hasn't been sterilized, don't risk infection by proceeding to use it for the injection.
Instead, replace it with a new one. Do this before removing the needle's cap. Remove the cap of the needle. Grasp the needle's protective cap by pulling firmly outward. Do not touch the needle now or at any point during the following steps. Handle the needle with care. Pull the syringe plunger to the desired dosage. The barrel of the syringe has dosage measurements on the side - line the plunger up with the precise measurement for your dosage.
As you do this, air will be drawn into the syringe. Insert the needle into the vial. Set the vial on a flat surface and carefully stab the needle through the vial's rubber diaphragm so that the needle's point is inside the vial. Push down on the plunger - do this gently, but definitively. Do not leave any air in the syringe. This action pushes air into the vial. Adding air to the vial serves an important purpose - by putting air in the vial, you increase the air pressure in the vial, which makes it easier to draw the correct dose because the extra air helps "push" the liquid out.
Pick the vial up. Carefully hold the vial in one hand and the syringe in the other. Turn the vial upside down in the air with the needle still inside. The syringe should be beneath the upside-down vial with its needle pointing up into it.
Pull the plunger toward you to fill the syringe with your prescribed dosage. Make minute adjustments as necessary by gently pushing or pulling on the plunger to ensure the amount of medicine in the syringe is exactly correct. When you're done, take the needle out of the vial. Set the vial aside for future doses or dispose of it in a proper medical waste receptacle. Injecting air bubbles into the body can put you at risk for a condition called a gas embolism, which, though rare, can be potentially life-threatening.
Because of this, it's important to ensure there are no bubbles in the syringe before giving an injection. This is done in a process called aspiration.
Hold the syringe needle-up and flick the side of the syringe to cause any bubbles to float to the top. When you've dislodged all the bubbles in the syringe, gently depress the plunger until all the air leaves the syringe. You can stop when you see a tiny drop of liquid emerge from the tip of the needle.
Sterilize the injection site. Wipe your chosen injection site with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol or with a sterile, pre-packaged alcohol wipe. Alcohol kills germs and microorganisms on the skin, reducing the risk that the needle will carry them under the skin. When giving frequent injections in a specific location of the body, do not sterilize the skin because it can cause the skin to dry out. Only sterilize if there are visible impurities. Hold the syringe with one hand.
Use your other hand to pinch your flesh where the shot will be given. This causes a "bulge" in the fatty tissue, which gives you a thicker area to safely inject into. Stick the needle into the skin at a degree angle. Quickly, so as to avoid prolonging pain, but not violently, hold the needle like a dart and plunge the needle into the spot you've pinched. You can also insert the needle in a 90 degree position, or a right angle. However, for small children or patients with little subcutaneous fat, a 45 degree angle is preferred because a 90 degree angle may cause the needle to go too deep, hitting the patient's muscle.
Release the skin from your pinch grasp. Pull back on the plunger with the needle in your skin. If you draw blood into your syringe, start over and choose a different injection site, as this signifies you've hit a vein or artery.
Subcutaneous drugs are meant to be administered into fatty tissue - releasing them directly into the bloodstream can cause them to be released too fast. Release the drug into the subcutaneous layer by slowly pushing down on the plunger. Push at a steady, controlled pace. Some minor discomfort is normal at this point. Remove the needle from your subcutaneous tissue layer. Gently but confidently pull the needle out of your skin. As you do so, you may want to press around the injection site with a clean cotton ball - this can prevent the skin from being pulled up with the needle, which can be painful.
Bandage the injection site. Apply a dry cotton ball to your injection wound. If desired, you may use a bandage to hold this against your wound, or you may hold it in place yourself, taking care not to touch your wound, and discard it when bleeding stops. Dispose of the cotton balls, needle and syringe appropriately in designated medical waste containers sharps bin.
Clean your work area and put away your tools. Never throw out medical waste, especially not needles, with normal garbage. Doing so can spread potentially deadly blood-borne illnesses.
Dispose of your sharps bin at a pharmacy. How do I give myself an injection in the back of my arm? Let it be done by a professional if you aren't -- if you hit the wrong spot you'll have some serious problems.
Not Helpful 5 Helpful 3. How far should the needles be inserted? Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. What position should the angled needle tip up or down?