Skip to content

How to Use an Insulin Pen – Mayo Clinic Patient Education

  • by

In this short video, a certified diabetes educator from Mayo Clinic explains the equipment and process for using an insulin pen for people with diabetes

My name is sarah i’m a certified diabetes educator today i’m going to demonstrate how to give insulin using an insulin pen first you need to gather your supplies which would be the insulin pen itself an alcohol swab and the pen needle then you want to wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol sanitation solution rub your hands together until it’s dry

Start by removing the cap to the pan at this point if you have cloudy insulin which would include nph insulin or mixture thereof you want to mix it you mix it with your palms like rolling it together or you can go gently back and forth you don’t want to rigorously shake it if you have clear insulin that does not contain nph then you can you don’t don’t have to mix

You can skip that part all together use your alcohol lights to wipe the rubber membrane on the end of the pen and then remove the protective tab on the pen needle push the needle into the end of the pen and turn it clockwise to tighten it next you want to do what we call a safety check to make sure there’s no air in the system you’ll dial the dose indicator to two

Units remove the outer needle cap and save that for later the inner needle cap you can remove and throw away so you’ve dialed to two units you’re going to push on the injector button and watch the end of the needle to make sure that you see some insulin come out it might be a stream or it might be just drops of insulin as long as you see liquid there you know that

There’s no air in the system next you’re going to dial the dose that’s been prescribed for you for example if five units is my dose i’ll dial to the mark right between the four and the six and i’m ready to give it the preferred site for insulin administration is the abdomen the abdomen is from your ribcage to your hips and as far laterally as you can comfortably

Reach you want to rotate sites so that you’re not returning to the same couple places again and again you should be about two finger widths away from your belly button so first expose the injection site hold your pen like a like a writing pen or a dart and then you want to go straight into the skin you can use the other hand if you wish or the same hand to push on

The injector button and just you’ll feel it and see it rotate as it is it’s injected and then once you’ve injected the entire solution hold it for 10 seconds or count to ten before removing the needle when you’re done you want to dispose of that pen needle in a puncture proof container a coffee can a detergent bottle a prescription bottle something that’s puncture

Proof and has a lid you’ll put the protective cap on and turn counterclockwise to remove the needle lastly you want to make sure the pen cap gets back on to protect the insulin from the light

Transcribed from video
How to Use an Insulin Pen – Mayo Clinic Patient Education By Mayo Clinic