You have been diagnosed with diabetes and you do not know how to take your blood glucose levels, or you want to test your blood glucose for another reason, use the following steps.
Become familiar with the directions that came with the meter and lancing device. Different meters can vary wildly in how they operate: some now have a continuous "cassette" of test strips, and some have advanced functions such as pattern recognition. Most blood glucose meters will be similar to that shown in this article, however.
Take a test strip out and place it in the glucose meter. You should find that the meter switches on automatically and prompts you to add a drop of blood.
Look at the screen to check that the number displayed is the same as the code on the packet of strips. This step may not apply to some meters which are automatically coded.
Take lancets out and place one in your lancing device with the dial set to the depth of your choice.
Pull off the top of the lancet device and put the lancet into the device.
Push the lancet into the device until you hear a click, or can feel that it is pushed down all the way into place.
Most lancets will have a small cap over them, hiding the needle: be sure to remove this before placing the lancing device cap back on.
Wash hands with soap and warm water. Never use hand wipes or hand sanitizer, as these can affect the result.
Dry hands well and gently rub the finger you have chosen to prick. It is a good idea to rotate which finger you use for tests, as overusing a finger can cause it to become sore and more difficult to get blood out of.
Angle your hand toward the floor to get the blood flowing in the direction of your fingertip.
Prick the side of your finger (pricking the side doesn't hurt as much as the tip). Pull back the end, freely-moving section of the lancing device and press the opposite end to your finger. Press the button that releases the lancet.
Different lancing devices may operate differently to this: read the manual.
Gently squeeze the finger to release a drop of your blood. Don't squeeze too hard.
Apply the blood to the end of the test strip. There will be a countdown and then your glucose level will show on the screen.
Dispose of your lancet and test strip carefully in biohazard container or sharps bin. Using a new lancet each time reduces the pain involved in pricking your finger.
Record your blood glucose result in your glucose diary. Keeping a diary can help you to spot patterns, and discuss your results with your healthcare team.