Chapter 9: Blood Glucose Monitoring

9.2 Glucometer Use

Critical Thinking Exercises: Questions, Answers, and Sources / References

  1. Describe two methods for increasing blood flow to a patient’s finger prior to lancing the finger.

Answer: Placing the finger to be poked in a dependent position will increase blood flow to the area. Milking or massaging the finger may introduce excess tissue fluid and hemolyze the specimen. Application of warmth (ie. washcloth, finger immersed in warm water) will promote vasodilation and may increase blood flow to the finger prior to lancing.


2. What is meant by sliding scale?

Answer: sliding scale refers to increasing the pre meal and / or bedtime bolus dose of insulin (usually Regular or Aspart) according to the blood glucose level. For example a patient who is acutely ill may have a labile blood glucose levels. The sliding scale theoretically allows for better glycemic control when dietary intake, stress and activity levels are abnormal for the patient.


3. If a patient is ordered insulin by sliding scale, when is the best time to check the glucose level?

Answer: just prior to administration. The dose of insulin (usually Regular or Aspart) is given based on the blood glucose level.


Kennedy, M. (2019). Insulin Therapy. Diabetes Education On line. University of California.


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