Home » NURSE TEACHING MATERIAL » TAKING AN ORAL TEMPERATURE

TAKING AN ORAL TEMPERATURE

TAKING AN ORAL TEMPERATURE

Oral-Thermometer

Equipment

Oral glass mercury thermometer

Tissues

Procedure

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Rinse thermometer in cold water if kept in a chemical solution, and wipe dry with tissue. Rationale: chemical taste is bitter
  3. Grasp thermometer with thumb and forefinger and shake vigorously by flicking wrist in downward motion to lower mercury level to below 95-960
  4. Check temperature reading on thermometer
  5. Explain procedure to the patient
  6. Place thermometer in patient’s mouth under tongue and ask patient to hold lips closed
  7. Leave in place 3 to 5 minutes
  8. Remove thermometer and wipe it with tissue from fingers down to bulb. Discard tissue
  9. Read temperature by rotating thermometer until the mercury level is clearly visible. Shake thermometer down and replace in bedside container.
  10. Wash hands
  11. Records patient’s temperature according to hospital procedure

NOTE: clinical alert

Temperature varies with time of day: highest at 5-7 PM and lowest between 2-6 AM. This is termed circadian thermal rhythm.


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