Chapter 9. Blood Glucose Monitoring

9.4 Summary

Blood glucose monitoring is an important procedure that allows people with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose level and manage their condition. Each blood glucose monitor is slightly different, and it is essential that you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each monitor you are using.

When working with patients with diabetes, it is also important to be able to recognize and manage patients with hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the condition of diabetes and how it affects blood glucose levels.
  • Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for using specific blood glucose machines.
  • Know how to recognize and manage patients with hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

Suggested Online Resources

  1. Canadian Diabetes Association: Antihyperglycemic agents for use in type 2 diabetes. This guideline is laid out in a handy reference table. Information covered includes: drug brand names, drug class and mechanism of action, therapeutic considerations, and more.
  2. Canadian Diabetes Association: Clinical practice guidelines. Organization of diabetes care.  This resource covers the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. It was developed under the auspices of the Clinical and Scientific Section of the Canadian Diabetes Association in 2013.
  3. Canadian Diabetes Association: Diabetes. This fact sheet outlines the risk factors, symptoms, treatments, and other important information for patients.
  4. Canadian Diabetes Association: Diabetes charter for Canada. This is the companion document for the Clinical practice guidelines. Organization of diabetes care.
  5. Canadian Diabetes Association: Diabetes: Canada at the tipping point. This document reports results from a 2011 national survey conducted online with over 2,000 adults, both with and without diabetes.
  6. Canadian Nurses Association: Diabetes toolkit. This website provides evidence-based practice resources for registered nurses and nurse practitioners. Scroll down the page to “Diabetes” to access these PDF files.
  7. Canadian Diabetes Association: Standards for diabetes education in Canada 2014. This document describes the standards of diabetes education for diabetes educators.
  8. Canadian Diabetes Association: Types of insulin. This reference table lists the insulin types used in Canada, along with the onset, peak times, and duration of each type of insulin.
  9. Fraser Health: Glucose monitoring: By point of care (beside testing). This document reviews the Accu-check glucose monitoring system, as well as the quality control procedure and patient test procedure.
  10. Registered Nurses Association of Ontaio (RNAO): Reducing foot complications for people with diabetes. This clinical guideline focuses on best practices to help practitioners reduce foot complications for patients with diabetes. The information included in this resource: how to conduct a risk assessment of foot ulcers, basic education for patients, and appropriate interventions.
  11. Roche: Accu Chek Inform II: Operator training.These Powerpoint slides, from a presentation by the BC Provincial Health Services Authority, covers the Accu Chek blood glucose monitoring machine.


British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). (2015). NURS 2020: Clinical techniques. Vancouver: BCIT.

Canadian Diabetes Association. (2013). Canadian diabetes association clinical practice guidelines expert committee. Clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Can J diabetes, 37(suppl 1):S1-S212.

Dagogo-Jack, S., & Alberti, K. G. (2002). Management of diabetes mellitus in surgical patients. Diabetes spectrum, 15(1), 44-48.

Hortensius, J., Slingerland, R. J., Kleefstra, N., Logtenberg, S. J. J., Groenier, K. H., Houweling, S. T., & Bilo, H. J. G. (2011). Self-monitoring of blood glucose: The use of the first or the second drop of blood. Diabetes care, 34(3), 556–560.

Mertin, S., Sawatzky, J., Diehl-Jones, W., & Lee, T. (2007). Roadblock to recovery: The surgical stress response. Dynamics, 18(1), 14-22.

Pagana, K., & Pagana, T. (2011). Mosby’s diagnostic and laboratory test reference (10th ed.). St Louis, MO: Mosby.

Pardalis, D. (2005). Diabetes: Treatment of hyper- and hypoglycemia. Retrieved on Nov 14, 2015, from Tech Talk: The national continuing education program for pharmacy technicians,

Perry, A., Potter, P., & Ostendorf, W. (2014). Clinical skills and nursing techniques (8th ed.). St Louis, MO: Elsevier-Mosby.

Rowe, B. H., Singh, M., Villa-Roel, C., Leiter, L. A., Hramiak, I., Edmonds, M. L., & … Campbell, S. (2015). Acute management and outcomes of patients with diabetes mellitus presenting to Canadian emergency departments with hypoglycemia. Canadian Journal Of Diabetes39(1), 55-64. doi:10.1016/j.jcjd.2014.04.001

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). (2009). Hypoglycemia algorithm. Vancouver: Vancouver Coastal Health.

VCH & PHC Professional Practice. (2013). Capillary blood glucose monitoring using the Accu-Chek blood glucose meter. Vancouver: Vancouver Coastal Health & Providence Health Care.

Weiss Behrend, S., Kelley, K., & Randoloph, S. (2004). Measuring blood-glucose levels. In Gaylene, A. (2004). Delmar’s fundamental and advanced nursing skills (2nd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.


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Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care Copyright © 2015 by Glynda Rees Doyle and Jodie Anita McCutcheon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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