If you need to take or administer medicine or a research compound, you will need to know how to use a syringe. Using a syringe is easy as long as you follow safety, hygiene, and use protocols, you will get it right each time. Make sure you understand exactly what you are injecting, what the correct dosage is, and what type of syringe is required. You will also need to understand needle gauge sizes. Look to the numbers on the packages or online description to ensure you always use the correct syringe and needle type. What you Need for a Syringe Before you get started, these are the items you will need when using a syringe: Needle with correct width and gauge Prep pads Gloves Lancet Cotton ball Vial or ampule of medicine or compound Always buy sterile syringes, and NEVER reuse syringes. How to Use a Syringe When you are ready to use a syringe, make sure you clean the area completely. Don’t skip this step. You must also use only a sealed and sterile syringe-and-needle unit and sealed ampule or vial. Now, go wash your hands! Use soap and hot water, and make sure you clean your nails and in between your fingers. Your next step, and one of the most important steps, is filling the vial. Hold the syringe and needle up so the needle points to the ceiling. Remove the cap from the vial and wipe it with a fresh alcohol pad. On the syringe, pull the plunger back to the dosage line. Remove the cap from the top of the needle and poke it into the rubber seal on the vial. Push the needle into the vial and press the plunger back down to create a vacuum. Next, pull the plunger back to fill medicine or vial to the dosage line. One the liquid is in the vial, make sure there are no air bubbles. If you see bubbles in the vial, push them out and refill the vial again to get the correct dosage. When you are the correct dose and no bubbles, it is time to give the injection. When giving the injection, prepare the area with an alcohol prep pad. Now, it is time for the injection. Pinch the area where the injection will go in. Follow specific injection techniques for each part of the body. Safe Discarding When you're finished giving your injection, practice safe disposal techniques. Follow your state’s guidelines for proper syringe and needle disposal. After you have given an injection, the needle is contaminated and dull. Never reuse it. Dispose of needles safely. Needles must NEVER go in the garbage. Always throw used needles in a sharps container that is clearly marked. Sharps containers for needles are easy to find online. You can also find them at a pharmacy or medical supplies store.