Blood Glucose Measurement (BM)

Blood glucose monitoring, or BM, is the skill where you test a patient’s blood to assess the glucose (sugar) levels within the blood.

Patients with diabetes mellitus will perform this on themselves daily to monitor their glucose levels.  It is therefore performed routinely on diabetic patients in hospital and also in all unconscious/collapsed patients that are brought into A&E to ensure the patient is not having a hypo or hyperglycaemic episode.

It is an easy skill to master and should gain you good marks in an OSCE, the difficulty often lies in interpretation of the results.

Subject steps

An extension to this station may be that you are shown blood glucose results and to interpret what they mean.  It would therefore be worthwhile knowing what the values for normal, diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance are.  Follow up may include taking a venous blood glucose sample or arranging an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).