Home health patient teaching for insulin therapy include the following MyHomecareBiz objectives:
1. Provide the evidence-based, best practice methods for self-managing insulin injections,
2. Ensure the patient/caregiver successfully recalls and demonstrates insulin self-injection independently, safely and effectively.
Know the Different Types of Insulin
- Rapid-acting: Usually taken before a meal to cover the blood glucose elevation from eating. This type of insulin is used with longer-acting insulin.
- Short-acting: Usually taken about 30 minutes before a meal to cover the blood glucose elevation from eating. This type of insulin is used with longer-acting insulin.
- Intermediate-acting: Covers the blood glucose elevations when rapid-acting insulins stop working. This type of insulin is often combined with rapid- or short-acting insulin and is usually taken twice a day.
- Long-acting: This type of insulin is often combined, when needed, with rapid- or short-acting insulin. It lowers blood glucose levels when rapid-acting insulins stop working. It is taken once or twice a day.
Patient Recall Items for Insulin Administration & Management...
Discuss the process of insulin management with the patient; encourage the patient to have a family member present if they so desire.
- Pre-filling the syringe
- Proper handwashing
- Gather your supplies
- Check the color of your insulin. If your insulin does not have the appropriate color, DO NOT USE.
- Safely prefill the syringe using sterile technique.
- Rotation of injection sites
- Self-injection of the insulin
- How to perform and record blood glucose reading with their glucometer in the office and record on the glucose log sheet
- Correct disposal of sharps
- Correct storage of insulin
- How meal times affect insulin administration schedule
- Signs of and treatment of hypoglycemia
- Signs of and treatment of hyperglycemia
- Reasons why insulin and dose adjustment may be necessary
Additional Teaching Items
The patient may need an increase in insulin dose under the following circumstances:
• Sickness and/or an infection
• Reduction in activity
• Weight gain
• Certain prescribed medications: Prednisone
• Emotional stress
The patient may need a decrease in insulin dose under the following circumstances:
• Activity increase
• Weight loss
• Kidney function issues
Tips for Storing Insulin
• Keep opened vials at room temp
• Discard opened vials after one month.
• Refrigerate unopened vials not in use between 36-46 degrees F. The expiration date applies to unopened, refrigerated insulin.
• For some pens and other dosing devices the storage life is less. Read the label.
• Durable pens and dosing devices should NOT be refrigerated once in use.
General Tips for Medications...
• Do not miss any doses of insulin. Contact the doctor to discuss specific instructions in the case of a missed dose of insulin.
• Try to use only one pharmacy so all medicines are managed in one place (to reduce risk of duplicating medicines and harmful drug interactions).