During the test
The HbA1C test involves taking a blood sample, which generally takes a few minutes.
A nurse ties a wide elastic band around your upper arm to help locate the vein. The nurse will use alcohol to disinfect the area and then insert a needle into the skin. You might feel a slight prick when the needle is inserted. After the blood is collected, the needle is removed and the blood sample is sent to the laboratory. A cotton ball can be used to stop any mild bleeding and a nurse may place a bandage over the needle site.
After the test
It is normal to feel these side effects after this test:
- tenderness or bruising at the injection site
- throbbing in your arm
Ask your doctor when you can expect your test results to be made available. HbA1C is reported as a percentage and it is generally ideal to have an HbA1C value of less than 7%. However, this target varies based on a number of factors, and you should ask your doctor what your target level should be.