How to use a Glucometer

  1. Obtain a glucometer and test strips.
  2. You can go to any drug store and buy a blood glucose meter. Many insurance companies will pay for your meter and test strips if you obtain a prescription from your doctor.

  3. Read the materials and directions that come with your meter.
  4. Familiarize yourself with all the functions of your blood glucose meter. Determine where you insert your test strip and where the readout will be.

  5. Test the glucometer before using it.
  6. Most glucometers include a way to test to make sure they are reading correctly. This could be in the form of a premade test strip or a liquid you place on a test strip. These are inserted into the machine and the reading should be within acceptable limits.

  7. Wash your hands thoroughly, including the area from which you are going to draw blood.
  8. Most diabetic glucometers instruct you to prick your finger for a sample, but some of the newer blood glucose meters let you use an area on your arm. Determine which of these areas is acceptable for your meter.

  9. Place alcohol on a cotton ball.
  10. Place a test strip into the slot provided on the glucometer.
  11. Swab the area you are going to use to draw your sample from with the cotton ball.
  12. Alcohol evaporates rapidly so there's no need to dry the area. That will just recontaminate it.

  13. Wait for the readout on the diabetic glucometer to tell you to put the drop of blood on the strip.
  14. The readout may actually say "place sample on strip," or it may give you a symbol, such as an icon that looks like a droplet of liquid.

  15. Use the lancet provided with the diabetic glucose meter and prick the area for the sample.
  16. Place a drop of blood on the test strip.
  17. The newer strips offer a "wicking" action that will draw the blood up into the test strip. Older meters and strips require you to actually drop blood onto the strip.
  18. Most diabetic glucose meters require no more than a drop of blood to test.

  19. Wait for results.
  20. The meter will begin a count down in seconds once the sample hits the strip and the meter detects it. For newer meters it will be 5 seconds, older meters could be 10 to 30 seconds. The meter will sound a tone, or beep, when it has a reading for you.

  21. Read and record your results.
  22. Some diabetic glucose meters will store the readings for you in their on-board memory. With others, you will have to write your results down. Make sure you note the day, time and type of reading. For instance, was the reading taken first thing in the morning? This is known as a fasting reading. Was it taken 2 hours after a meal? This is known as a 2-hour postprandial reading.


    • Make sure you keep a supply of fresh batteries handy for your glucometer.
    • Warming your hands prior to using the lancet will make the blood flow easier.
    • Review results with your doctor on a regular basis. Results recorded in your notebook are important to determine the effectiveness of your treatment and blood sugar management.
    • Use a paper towel or tissue to apply pressure to the blood sample site if bleeding persists.

    Do not reuse lancets or test strips. Both of these items are meant for one-time usage.

    Things You'll Need

    1. Diabetic glucometer
    2. Test strips
    3. Lancets
    4. Alcohol
    5. Cotton balls
    6. Paper and pencil (if your meter does not automatically store your results)

    How to Use a Glucometer: Source-YouTube

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