Chapter 4: Administering meds

Giving medication by injection

I’ve given animals and myself injections, but I was very nervous about being the one to give someone else those shots. My hands shook so much I could hardly do it, but eventually I got used to it

If a person you are caring for needs you to give medication by injection, you will be trained and guided by a healthcare professional on the procedures. *If you are uncomfortable or unsure about administering medication via injection to the person who is ill, it is very important that you inform the healthcare team about this.

There are different forms of giving medication by injection. One common method is called a subcutaneous injection, where a small plastic needle (called a

butterfly needle


A butterfly needle sits in the tissue under the person’s skin. Medication is then provided through the tiny plastic tube. Some people say they forget the tube is even there. Sometimes people say they feel a burning or painful sensation when the medication is given. Depressing the syringe very slowly can help reduce pain.



) is left in place under the person’s skin. This way, a poke isn’t needed every time medication is required. Butterfly needles are typically put in place by a healthcare provider. As a caregiver, you can then give the prescribed medication through this device.


What may help

Be sure to ask the healthcare provider about the different options if medication is prescribed to be given by injections. Ask for exact details, instructions, training, and guidance.

Let the healthcare provider know if you are uncomfortable with any aspect of administering medication by injection.