Section III. PROCEDURES FOR ASSEMBLING SYRINGE AND
1-12. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
a. The administration of medicine by injection requires equipment (needles and
syringes) that is sterile, accurate in measuring dosage, convenient to use, and that will
produce as little discomfort and/or hazard for the patient as possible. A needle and
syringe are used to introduce suitable liquid preparations of drugs directly into the body
tissue or blood vessels. Because of the accuracy of these methods of administration,
these injections provide the patient with a more precise amount of drug and a more
b. Patient safety is a critical factor for the basic medical specialist. Aseptic
techniques must be strictly maintained during the preparation and administration of a
drug. Foreign particles or other types of contamination on a needle could be injected
directly into the body. Infection may be introduced through the needle hole in the skin.
Irreparable damage to major nerves or other structures may occur due to improper
technique or a dull needle. Needles and syringes are controlled items. The medical
specialist is responsible for the security and control and ultimate disposal of this
1-13. STEPS IN THE PROCEDURE FOR ASSEMBLING THE NEEDLE AND
a. Determine Type of Medication, Time of Administration, and Route of
Injection. This step is to determine the type of needle needed.
b. Perform Patient Care Handwash. Wash hands according to instructions
provided in your previous training whether you are in the clinic or field environment.
c. Gather Required Equipment.
(1) Choice of needle. The length of the needle you choose will depend
upon the type of injection. The gauge size you choose will depend upon the type of
medication (see figure 1-3).
(a) Subcutaneous (SQ) injection. Subcutaneous injection requires a
short needle. The length should be one-half to seven-eighths inch. Gauge size should
be 23 to 25.
(b) Intradermal (ID) injection. The length of the needle should be one-
fourth to one-half inch with the gauge size 26.
(c) Intramuscular (IM) injection. The length of the needle should be
one to one and one-half inches with the gauge size 20 to 22.