Start t:slim without training?

I’ve been on an Animas Ping for 4 years and have to send it back ASAP. I’m getting a new t:slim in the mail, but a trainer is not available to meet with me until after I return my Animas. I’m not sure what to do. Are t:slim pumps user-friendly enough to teach myself to use it through the manual and YouTube? I am comfortable using a pump, but just don’t want to do something stupid and put myself in danger (I do use a Dexcom though). Thoughts from t:slim users? Thanks!

Watch the videos and read the manual. I never do live training–I just read and watch any pertinent videos. We have the internet now!


The pump is very user friendly. It should come with the basal-iq software already installed. All you’ll have to do get your settings input into the pump. The only step you’ll want to go over thoroughly is the cartridge filling process.
If you have an iPhone, there’s a pump simulator app that functions exactly like the pump so you can familiarize yourself with all the functions before you get the pump in your hands.

t:simulator™ App by Tandem Diabetes Care Inc.


I had never used a pump before. I watched the videos, set it up and started using it on my own.
No big deal!


As a former Animas user, I would say that everything on the T-slim is pretty straightforward with the exception, as Jason99 noted, of the cartridge filling process. You should definitely watch tandem’s video:

I would emphasize a few things. First, it is a two-step process – a pulling out air part and a putting in insulin part. Second, the pulling out air part involves having some insulin in the syringe even though you are NOT injecting insulin into the cartridge at that point. Third, when inserting the syringe into the cartridge you don’t push it in all the way until it’s flush. Do NOT force it all the way in. There’s a little stopping point part way in. Sometimes the needle will go all the way in. In those cases just take the syringe out and insert it in a slightly different place.

All this stuff is in the video but those were things I personally found counterintuitive.

Don’t know if that is of any help, but it might be worthwhile to watch that particular video a few times. Good luck – overall it’s a user-friendly system.


I started the t:slim X2 without training and had no real issues. The cartridge change is a PITA as others have mentioned. When you go into the Facebook Tandem users group, there are lots of people who don’t bother taking the air out of the cartridge. I mostly frequently pull the air out with the syringe before putting the insulin in the syringe. It is much easier that way. If I do it the way that the Tandem video says, I put the syringe back into the vial when I push the air out. Otherwise you waste insulin that squirts out the top before the air gets pushed out. You should probably start by doing it Tandem’s way and then you’ll understand the alternatives better.

Since you’re coming directly from Animas, there are a couple of important differences to understand moving to Tandem.

First, when you load a cartridge, fill tubing, and/or prime (fill cannula), insulin delivery will be stopped. Unlike Animas, where insulin automatically resumes when you finish that menu, you must Resume Insulin with Tandem. There are several screens to go through before you get to that option. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to Resume Insulin in my early days with Tandem and I periodically still forget. You do get an alarm in about 10 (?) minutes to resume insulin, so it is not the end of the world. But it is an important (and annoying) difference.

The second big difference from Animas is that the X2 takes a long time to start delivering bolus insulin. With Animas, the bolus delivery is almost immediate. Sometimes before getting dressed in the morning, I’ll give my breakfast bolus. In my early Tandem days, I would carelessly and out-of-habit quickly disconnect the pump to hop in the shower. Oops! The bolus hadn’t delivered or all of the bolus hadn’t delivered. There was no way to know how much, if any, of the bolus I got. It’s not a huge deal but an issue you must understand. Also somewhat related is that it you pre-bolus, you might want to allow a slightly longer pre-bolus time with Tandem because the bolus didn’t immediately deliver when you programmed it.

A third difference that may or may not be relevant to you. I have PreChek when I fly and go through the metal detector. My Medtronic and Animas pumps never set off the metal detector. The Tandem case is metal and sets off the metal detector subjecting me to the dreaded pat downs. Some people disconnect their pumps for TSA, ask for a hand inspection, and seem to escape pat downs and just get a hand swab. Me, the one time I tried that they said they were going to give me a pat down anyway. I don’t like disconnecting my pump anyway so either just get the pat down or go through the scanner although you’re not supposed to.

Good luck and feel free to ask questions.

Oh my goodness, just more reasons why I’m glad I didn’t opt to get the X2. I love how fast the 670G is at bolusing compared with my 530. And the reservoir thing–don’t even get me started on that. Also, I had no idea that basal is suspended after changing reservoirs. WTH were they thinking?

There’s no reason to not resume insulin once the priming has finished. The pump literally tells you to resume insulin delivery. This is negligent user error and not a pump issue.


Interesting. As part of my troubleshooting process when things go awry (for any of the pumps I’ve used), I disconnect the pump and bolus into the air to confirm bolus delivery. With my X2, delivery starts within 5 seconds from pushing the ‘deliver’ button. The total bolus delivery time is longer than Animas because of the pump mechanism. I prefer this because, for me, the faster delivery from my Animas and Disetronic/Roche pumps often caused stinging.

Also interesting. My Animas pump more often then not set off the metal detector. In the early days for airport screening all I had to do is show them the pump and explain what it was. But as TSA inspections became more rigorous I had to go through the pat down. I just started taking it off, putting it in my brief case and running it through the x-ray. I was amazed they let a small box with what appears to be a wire hanging off it fly right through. Stupid of me to put it through the x-ray and risk damage. I’ve since stopped doing it.

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I don’t have to “resume” insulin delivery on a Medtronic pump. As soon as it’s done priming, it’s back to normal operation, ie, basal is running. I STILL don’t understand their rationale for requiring that one restart basal. Sounds like an easy thing to forget; I wouldn’t be so hard on the user.

You rewind the the plunger on the Medtronic and don’t suspend anything so it’s good to go afterwards. The Tandem doesn’t have the same mechanism. Once the the priming and cannula are filled the pump let’s you set the 3 day reminder to change the cartridge. After you do that the pump gives an audible alert and instructions on the screen to resume insulin delivery. The insulin resume screen is the last step in the process, and can’t be missed unless you ignore it. It takes less than a second to press resume on the screen. It’s no big deal and is only missed if being negligent with the process.

Is that an optional item?


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As @Paytone says, yes.

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I agree, missing the step to resume is, for me at least, a hard thing to do! And it is super quick and easy to go through the needed steps.


For what it’s worth, I think the slower delivery of the bolus might be a good thing, causing slightly less trauma to the infusion site and less leaking. (I have no scientific backing for that. It’s just my impression.)
Laddie is right to point out though that you can’t just press the button and detach. You have to stand there and wait for the little beep telling you the bolus is complete. It doesn’t come up often for me, but it has in that I’m going to give myself a bolus before I shower situation.
The thing with resuming delivery after changing cartridges is trivial. Worst case scenario, you get an annoying alarm going off after ten minutes telling you you forgot to resume.

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I have no problem with faster bolus delivery with the 670. There is no trauma, no pain, and NO leakage. I think you are making this stuff up in your head. ie, it is all SUPPOSITION.

You want to talk about leakage. Let’s talk. For years I used those frickin’ Sof Sets, and then next up were the Quick Sets. When using them I only used medtronic pumps with their standard slow delivery rate (1.5U/min). AND THEY WOULD LEAK. It’s about the type of SETS, rather than the delivery rate.

It does save a screen or two to not have the set-change reminder. I have mostly adjusted to the Tandem system but this is a big change from Animas.

I wonder if you didn’t use Animas or Medtronic pumps before Tandem. Yes, once you understand and adjust to it, it is not a big deal. But when you have pumped with other companies for 15 years and never had to scroll through several screens before resuming insulin, it is an adjustment.

All I am saying that if you have previously used an Animas pump and never had to do anything to resume insulin, you need to pay attention and go through multiple screens to resume insulin. I am not saying that Tandem does not work correctly. It is just very different than Animas and Medtronic pumps and you need to be aware of the differences.

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