Tips for IM injections?

Posted
by jakrob123 jakrob123 Member Nurse Student

Specializes in LPN. Has 5 years experience.

Thinking about volunteering at my village health department to give vaccinations for covid. I'm hesitant to join because I don't have much experience but I'm eager to learn and know I will be confident with appropriate tips and skills. 

Any tips or specifics I should know when doing IM injections?

dianah, ASN

Specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology. Has 47 years experience. 9 Articles; 3,518 Posts

For some of us who have been practicing since we crossed the prairies in covered wagons (fighting dinosaurs along the way), we can usually give an IM with our eyes closed, so to speak. 

That said, our facility, while instituting Covid vaccination clinics for both employees and the public, has required all RNs to take refresher courses on administering IM injections, in case we are pulled to staff those clinics.  Along with those refresher courses, we also learned about the various vaccines to be administered (Pfizer VS Moderna VS Janssen).   I always learn something, through the refresher courses.  ?

Here are links to some helpful refreshers:

 

https://elsevier.health/en-US/preview/intramuscular-injections-hhc

 

https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/assessment-skills/injection-technique-1-administering-drugs-via-the-intramuscular-route-23-07-2018/

cameron5575

cameron5575, BSN, RN

Has 1 years experience. 47 Posts

These are the 3 biggest takeaways that I have found since doing vaccine clinics:

1. Follow the landmarks (three fingers under the acromion process/thickest part of muscle). I have seen many people administer too high (and have even had some people report getting their shoulder messed up because of it). And remember to inject at a 90 degree angle.

2. Use the z-track pattern instead of squeezing the muscles. Squeezing is a no-no and is more painful.

3. Tell the patient to relax their arm as much as possible before injecting them. Tell them to go "loosey goosey". The less flexed the muscle is, the less pain they experience. Most of my patients have told me that they didn't feel a thing.

nursej22, MSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health, TB. Has 37 years experience. 2,739 Posts

19 hours ago, dianah said:

For some of us who have been practicing since we crossed the prairies in covered wagons (fighting dinosaurs along the way), we can usually give an IM with our eyes closed, so to speak. 

 

Now I have the image of a nurse in scrubs, wearing a sunbonnet, giving an injection. Maybe DaveyDo can do a cartoon?

 

BSN-to-MSN, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in SCRN. Has 8 years experience. 398 Posts

Good tips above!

Don't ever tell the patient "it will not hurt" ahead of time.

Edited by RN-to- BSN