Correct site on fingertip for checking blood glucose level and their impact on patient
Keywords:Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Phlebotomy, Puncture, Blood Specimen Collection, Blood Glucose
Introduction: Nursing is mostly considered as a practice-based profession which should be updated with different research and evidence-based practices to allow advances in the profession and improve the image of nursing all over the world. Such good practices apply to all patients but especially to diabetic patients who are prone to different problems such as delayed healing, abscess at the wound site, loss of nerve sensations, etc. Hence, wrong prick for checking blood glucose level can lead to a number of problems which could be avoided.
Objective: To compare different practices i.e. glucose monitoring through fingertip versus side of nail bed puncture by nurses and their impact on patients.
Material & Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in a private teaching hospital of Islamabad, Pakistan, from July 2020 to November 2020. Subjects included twelve registered nurses working in Emergency department, and 4 diabetic patients in the Urology unit. A self-structured 14-item Questionnaire was used for collection of data from the nurses. Patients were asked to evaluate their preference for either of two methods of fingertip needle prick. Data were coded and entered in SPSS 23.0 for descriptive statistics.
Results: The overall level of knowledge and practice of nurses about fingertip prick technique based on a 14-item questionnaire was adequate (63.1% correct answers; range 28.6% to 85.7%), though a number of important areas needed improvement. Diabetic patients preferred the lateral fingertip prick rather than the central fingertip prick due to lesser pain and ability to use fingertips in daily routine.
Conclusion: Knowledge and practices of Emergency department nurses about drawing blood samples through fingertip pricks needed to be further improved in line with provision of evidence-based patient care.