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Z-track IM injection method

I continue to see questions about z-track IM injection method in NCLEX practice questions and on the hesi exam. Questions regarding how to do the procedure the correct way.

So I thought it would be a great idea to share it with you.

The Z-track method is recommended for IM injections.

  • The Z-track technique, pulling the skin either downward or laterally before injection, reduces leakage of medication into subcutaneous tissue and minimizes pain.

  1. The nurse attaches the appropriate size needle to the syringe.

  2. Then the nurse selects an IM site, preferably in a large, deep muscle, such as the ventrogluteal.

  3. The overlying skin and subcutaneous tissues are pulled approximately 2.5 to 3.5 cm (1 to 1½ inches) down or laterally to the side with the ulnar side of the nondominant hand.

  4. The skin is held in this position until the injection has been administered.

  5. Once the medication is injected, the needle remains inserted for 10 seconds to allow the medication to disperse evenly.

  6. The nurse then releases the skin after withdrawing the needle, which leaves a zigzag path that seals the needle track wherever tissue planes slide across each other.

  7. The drug is less likely to escape from the muscle tissue.


(Source: bloopz)