Blood Glucose Measurement

By | April 17, 2017

Blood glucose measurement occasionally shows up as an OSCE station. It’s important that you’re familiar with this relatively simple procedure. There’s often a significant number of marks available for communication skills when explaining the procedure to the patient, so don’t overlook the importance of this aspect of the station. Check out the blood glucose measurement mark scheme here.


  • Wash hands
  • Introduce yourself – state your name and role
  • Confirm patient details – name / DOB
  • Explain procedure:

“I would like to check your blood glucose level.”

“The procedure will involve taking a very small blood sample from your fingertip.”

“You’ll experience a very brief sharp scratch.”

  • Gain consent –“Do you understand everything I’ve said? Are you happy for me to go ahead?”


Measure the blood glucose

  1. Ensure the patient has washed their hands – substances on the skin can alter the reading – avoid alcohol wipes as they can also interfere with the reading
  2. Turn on the blood glucose monitor – ensure it is calibrated
  3. Insert the test strip into the glucose monitor – ensure the strip is within date
  4. Don gloves
  5. Remove the protective cap from the lancet
  6. Prick the patient’s finger – ideally the side of the finger (as this is usually less painful)
  7. Gently squeeze the finger to produce a blood droplet
  8. Touch the tip of the test strip against the droplet of blood
  9. Apply gauze to the puncture site to stop the bleeding
  10. Note the reading from the blood glucose meter

4cae0446e7db3a2d8620570704b3fb79.jpgInsert test strip


19db840df1db4a846adcdaa31a704113.jpgRemove safety cape from lancet

5bf107bf7785f23d566451eb4a80290e.jpgPrick one of the finger

3fdb090b146aef8f77347a8e13c4a7cc.jpgSqueeze finger to produce droplet of blood

acdbab5536b91dafc6b4f83d87d1e300.jpgTouch test strip against the blood droplet

42e98a807c6a9f8f955546f5872e40b5.jpgRemove blood glucose meter

To complete the procedure

  • Dispose of lancet into sharps bin
  • Dispose of gloves and cotton wool into an appropriate clinical waste bin
  • Wash hands
  • Thank patient
  • Document the blood glucose reading on the appropriate chart


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