How to take a temperature in nursing using different types of thermometers: Nurse shows how to take a temperature in 6 different ways:
-How to take a temperature under the arm (Axillary - armpit);
-How to take a temperature orally (mouth);
-How to take a temperature in ear (tympanic),
-How to take a temperature on the skin;
-How to take a temperature rectal (rectum);
-How to take a temperature over the temporal artery location on the forehead.
There are many different types of thermometers: glass (analog) thermometers that are filled with liquid (formerly mercury but now other metals), digital probe thermometers, infrared thermometers, and more.
Glass thermometers are rarely used in a healthcare setting due to the risk of breakage, but they are still relatively popular for home use. This tutorial will show you how to use and read a glass thermometer, in addition to other types.
There are also many different routes you can use to take a temperature: The most common include rectum, mouth, armpit, skin, temporal artery (forehead), and ear (tympanic).
According to most experts, the rectum offers the most accurate reading. The armpit and skin offer the least accurate readings.
The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit can be considered a fever in both adults and children.
Taking a person's temperature is something you not only do at home when you're sick, but nurses also perform this task on the job.
Before taking a temperature as a nurse, you always want to perform hand hygiene, don gloves (if you will touch the mouth or rectum), clean the thermometer per the protocols in your healthcare facility (soap and water and/or an alcohol pad), and add a thermometer probe cover for added protection.
If checking a temperature orally, ensure that the patient hasn't consumed food or beverages and if they have wait 15 minutes to take the temperature, as this can distort the temperature.
When finished, always discard the thermometer probe cover, doff your gloves, perform hand hygiene, and document the temperature AND the route used (oral, axillary, rectum, etc.).
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Hi! Freshman nursing student here. In our country, we don't recommend the use of glass thermometers (the one with the mercury) because you are right- it may break and further cause harm to the patient. Digital thermometers are better to use! :)
Hi Sarah, absolutely love your videos. Can you make a video on hemodynamics monitoring with shocks and stage of shocks. Your video always help me solidify and understand the lecture much better. Thank you.
Hello, Melissa. The purpose of pulling the ear down and back is to straighten the ear canal so that you can get the most accurate reading possible. This age range is not set in stone, and some sources will recommend to pull down and back vs up and back at different ages. However, 12 months or less is the most common protocol, based on several sources. Nevertheless, we always recommend you follow the protocols of your healthcare facility or state.
My colleague calls the temporal artery thermometer the "random number generator" 😂!!!! We've found it to be very inconsistent. There are also temperature probing bladder catheters that give a good core temperature. The only time I've seen the glass thermometer highly used was in underdeveloped countries. Then soaked in disinfectant. Well done Sarah! - Nurse Stefan💕
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