Follow your doctor’s directions about when and how often to get your shots. You’ll need to check with your healthcare provider before getting any injections. Ask your healthcare provider if you’re unsure what to expect. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself the injection. If you forget to wash your hands after touching something dirty, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead.
Warm up before doing any exercise. You should warm up first because muscles need time to get ready for exercise. Warm up exercises will help prevent injury during physical activities. Before exercising, stretch your muscles. Stretching helps loosen tight muscles and improves flexibility. Stretch your muscles for at least 10 minutes. Do not bounce while stretching. Use light weights and move slowly.
Use alcohol before you shoot. You will need to remove the cap from the needle first. Then hold the syringe like a gun. Make sure your finger is not touching the plunger. Take aim at the site. Stretch the skin flat. Put the syringe at a right angle to the site. Push down gently until the liquid goes inside.
The needle must be inserted at an angle. You may need to rotate the needle slightly before inserting it into the skin. Once the needle is fully inserted, hold it steady. Slowly push the plunger down until you feel resistance. Then pull the plunger back up. If you see blood, stop pushing the plunger down and remove the needle. Prepare another syringe with medicine. Put the needle back in the same spot and try again.
If there isn’t any blood in the syringe when you inject yourself, pull back on the plunger until the liquid comes out. Slowly push the plunger down again to get the rest of the medicine inside. Apply pressure over the injection site if you need to stop bleeding. Don’t rub the area.
Don’t share needles. Use a different needle for every injection. Change your spots when you need to inject again.
When should you call for help?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of an illness or injury, watch carefully for changes in your health. Contact your doctor or nurse call number immediately if you notice anything unusual. If you need immediate medical attention, dial 911. You can also visit your local emergency room.
How can you give yourself an intramuscular shot?
Follow your doctor’s instructions about when and how often to get your injection. You’ll need to show him/her what you’re using. Make sure you clean your needle before and after each injection. If you’re getting the shot at school, ask your nurse to help you. She’ll teach you how to give yourself your injections safely.
Apply an ice pack to the injection site for 15 minutes before injecting. You may also apply a topical numbing cream to the injection site if desired. Apply the numbing cream at least 30 minutes before the shot.
Wash your hands before you start injecting. Use alcohol to clean the skin first. Then let it dry. Put the cap back on the needle. Hold the needle like a dart close to your injection site. Keep your fingers away from the plunger. Stretch out the skin using your fingers and thumb. Place the needle at a 90 degree angle to your injection site.
If you see blood in the needle, you have hit a vein. You need to quickly push the needle through the skin and into the vein. Try not to stab yourself when you do this. Once you’ve found the vein, hold the syringe steady while pulling back on the plunger. Slowly pull the plunger until you feel resistance. Stop pulling back on the plunder once you feel resistance. Remove the needle and discard it. Prepare a new syringe with medication. Push the needle into a different spot on your arm, and repeat steps 2-4.
If there isn’t any blood in the syringe then slowly push the plunger down until it reaches its full length. Then pull the needle out at the exact same angle that you pushed it in. Apply pressure over the injection site if you’re worried about bleeding. You can use your fingers, a cotton ball, a piece of gauze, or even a bandage. Don’t rub the area because it could bruise.
Don’t share needles. Use a different syringe every time you inject yourself. Change the place where you stick your arm each time you do it, and always wash your hands before and after using the injection site.
When should you call for help?
Be aware of changes in your health. If you notice anything unusual, like feeling sick, dizzy, confused, or tired, tell your doctor or nurse about it. Call Health Link at 811 for 24/7 nurse advice. You can also visit our website for general health information.
What if I break or bend a needle?
If you accidentally bend or break your needle while giving yourself a vaccination, carefully remove the needle if you still can. Dispose of it in a safe way (a hard plastic, metal, sharps container with a lid). If you cannot dispose of the needle safely, contact your doctor or health care provider immediately.
If you haven’t taken any medicine recently, you may need to wait until you’ve had time to recover before taking another dose. You should also talk to your doctor about whether you should get a second dose. If you’re bleeding when you remove the needle, clean the wound with soap and warm water, then apply direct pressure to stop it. Cover the wound with a sterile dressing, if necessary.
If you see blood coming out of your skin after an injection, wash the area with soap and water, then apply pressure with a clean cloth or paper towel. Don’t try to pull out the needle yourself. You may get poked again. Call your health care provider right away. He or she will give you instructions about what to do next.
What if I see blood in the syringe?
If you notice blood in the hub of your syringe, it could mean you’ve hit a blood vessel. You should remove the needle without giving the medication. Then dispose of the needle in a sharps container.
Use a sharps container with a tight fitting lid. Use a new syringe to give the shot. If you need to change needles, use a new syringe. If you need to give the shot again, clean your hands first.
What about infections?
When giving yourself an injection, always wash your hands first, then clean the injection site. Keep your needle sterile, and if you notice any signs of infection, call a doctor immediately. Signs of infection include: increased pain, swelling, warmth or redness around the site. Red streaks leading away from the site.
How do I rotate injection sites?
You should keep track of where you inject your medicine. If you need to give yourself multiple shots, try injecting them in different parts of your body. If you forget where you injected your medicine, you can always ask someone else if they remember where you gave it.
Is bruising okay?
If you get a bruise, try not to put any pressure on it. Use another area for your shot if possible. Bruises can last anywhere from a few days to weeks. You should see improvement after a couple of days.
What if I don’t like needles?
Many people hate getting shots, but they learn to get them because it’s important to their health. If you’re worried about getting shots, ask a friend or family member to help you practice giving yourself shots. A nurse can also teach you how to give yourself shots by showing you how to practice on an orange. Learning about the process helps you understand why you should get shots.