For individuals with diabetes, testing your blood glucose levels is a necessity and important to managing your treatment plan and for preventing long-term complications that diabetes can cause. To carefully monitor your blood sugar, you need to use your glucose meter properly. Here’s what you need, how to get started, and how to get test results.   Materials Needed Blood glucose meter Test strips Lancets Lancing device   Getting Started Some glucose meters require that you set the date and time. If you have this style of glucose meter, check the calendar and the time and enter them appropriately. Next, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, rinse, and dry. When your hands are completely dry, take a test strip and insert it into your glucose meter. You should put the strip that has three contact bars into the meter as far as it will allow. This should turn your glucose meter on. Many brands of glucose meters will display a code on the meter that you will check to ensure it matches the code on the vial of test strips. If the numbers do not match you won’t get an accurate reading, so it’s important that you check and that they match. If for some reason the numbers don’t match, grab the instructions that came with your glucose meter to find out how to change the code. Getting Glucose Test Results Now that you’ve prepared your hands and your test strip, it’s time to take the test. This is a simple, three step process. Step One: Take a blood sample Here’s the part that makes some people cringe. Use the lancing device and a new lancet to get a drop of blood from your finger. You can do it from the side of your fingertip rather than the top, which often makes it easier to get the drop of blood on the test strip. Step Two: Put a drop of blood on test strip When your glucose meter displays a blood droplet symbol, or otherwise indicates it is ready, apply a drop of blood from your fingertip to the test strip by holding the narrow channel of the test strip against the drop of blood. This will allow the blood to enter the strip. Make sure you completely fill your test strip so your glucose meter will have enough blood to give an accurate reading. If you aren’t able to get enough blood from the drop to fill the test strip, add more blood to the test strip within five seconds. If your glucose meter gives you an error reading, throw the strip away and start over with a new lancet and test strip. Step Three: Read your result Watch the display on your glucose meter as it counts down and displays the result of the glucose level in your blood.   Need a glucose meter? We have them in stock. We also carry a variety of lancets and test strips.