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How Do I Learn Injection Technique?

Insulin pens help ensure an insulin injection isn't too deep so as to speed up the insulin action time.
The three main layers of skin.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 June 2014
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Injection technique refers to the way medicine is injected. The technique of drug injection matters because some drugs need to be injected more deeply than others in order to be distributed properly throughout the body. Many health care professionals approve of a pinch injection technique for injecting medication.

In the pinch injection technique, some skin is pinched together between the thumb and fingers. The syringe is then injected at a 90 degree angle. The plunger on the syringe is pushed slowly to release the medication into the skin. This pinch method of injection can be used for injecting medicine either shallowly or deeply.

A shallow injection should go into the subcutaneous fatty level of skin. This level is just below the skin's surface. For an insulin injection technique, the subcutaneous level should be reached. If the injection is any shallower, the action time of the insulin is affected. If the injection is too deep it can reach muscle. This may be painful as well as too short lasting an effect for the insulin, as the body may absorb it too fast.

Diabetes nurse educators can teach you the proper type of injection technique for insulin. It may take practice to correctly use the pinch technique as well as to inject the insulin at a 90 degree angle. Safety styles of insulin syringes are designed for diabetics to avoid accidentally stabbing themselves with the needle while trying to master their injection technique.

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If you don't need to inject insulin, but rather another type of medication, a health care professional who injects different types of vaccines can demonstrate how to reach the skin level you need. Vaccines are injected at either the subcutaneous or intramuscular level depending on the particular vaccine. Whereas the subcutaneous level is just under the skin's surface, the intramuscular level is just under the subcutaneous level.

For most medications, the pinch and 90 degree angle injection technique is often recommended. If you are prescribed injection medication, you should get advice from your doctor on exactly how you should inject it. Some prescribed injection medications come with instructions as well as syringes. Many health care professionals instruct patients to inject their medications into the upper arm or thigh depending on the specific medication.

Other health care techniques should usually accompany injections. For instance, many health care professionals assert that disposable medical gloves should be worn when injecting medication into yourself or others. The technique of drawing medicine into the syringe is also important because if the plunger is pulled too fast, air bubbles could enter the syringe and create a lower dose of the medication.

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Discuss this Article

TheGraham
Post 1

I've always heard that a good way to practice safe injection techniques without hurting anybody was to try different injection methods on a fruit, such as an orange. It sounds like the pinch and inject at 90 degrees method wouldn't work on an orange, though, because of course an orange's peel is too thick and stiff to pinch and pull like skin. So is there any truth to the orange practice method, or is that just a rumor?

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