Blood Glucose : Medical Assistants Class



  • The MA pricks this part of a patient’s finger with a lancet while performing a blood glucose test:

    The side of the finger

    Rationale: Any finger may be used for blood glucose testing. Prick the side of the selected finger instead of the finger tip to minimize discomfort for the patient.

  • The MA calibrates a blood glucose monitor to ensure that it recognizes these values correctly:

    High and low levels of glucose

    Rationale: Blood glucose monitors require frequent calibration. This is done by testing known concentrations of glucose. Calibration ensures that high and low glucose levels are accurately recognized by the monitor.

  • The MA knows that preventing chronically elevated blood glucose levels is important to avoid:

    Complications of diabetes

    Rationale: Complications of diabetes include damage to the heart and blood vessels. Blindness, kidney disease, and nerve damage may occur. Studies have shown that complications are directly related to chronic high glucose levels.

  • The MA needs to be aware that a patient’s blood glucose level may result in health problems:

    If it is either too high or too low

    Rationale: Health issues may arise if a person’s blood glucose level is too low. This condition is called hypoglycemia. An elevated blood glucose level, known as hyperglycemia, may result in health problems as well.

  • The MA disposes of used lancets in:

    A sharps container

    Rationale: Lancets are designed for one time use. They are placed in special sharps containers after use in order to protect people from injury. Medical waste disposal specialists discard the sharps containers following federal guidelines designed to protect the public and environment.

  • MAs and other health care professionals monitor blood glucose l with:

    A blood glucose meter

    Rationale: Patients and health care professionals are able to monitor blood glucose levels with a single drop of blood obtained by pricking a finger with a lancet. The blood is placed on a collection strip which is loaded into a blood glucose meter. The meter quickly displays the blood glucose level.

  • Prior to performing a blood glucose test the MA should:

    Wash her hands and don gloves

    Rationale: Prior to performing a blood glucose test, the MA gathers needed equipment, and properly identifies the patient. She explains the procedure to the patient. The MA washes her own hands and encourages or helps the patient to wash his hands with warm water and soap. The MA dons gloves before performing the blood glucose test.

  • Abnormal levels of blood glucose are most often experienced by patients suffering from:

    Diabetes mellitus

    Rationale: Several illnesses and medical treatments cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate. However, the vast majority of patients who experience abnormal blood glucose levels are those with diabetes mellitus.

  • Blood glucose is:

    A sugar which provides energy

    Rationale: The human body breaks down nutrients into forms that it can use. Blood glucose is a type of nutrient which is formed as a result of carbohydrate metabolism. It is a simple sugar which provides energy for the body.

  • The blood glucose monitor should be cleaned:

    Before and after each patient test

    Rationale: Use an Environmental Protection Agency approved product and method to clean a blood glucose monitor. Check your employer’s policy and procedure manual for specific instructions. Clean the monitor before and after each patient test.


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