Chapter 2: Temperature

Test Yourself: List in the Correct Order

List the steps below in the correct order for each of the following techniques. Write your list on a piece of paper.

Oral Temperature Technique

  • Place the thermometer in the mouth under the tongue in the posterior sublingual pocket (slightly off-centre) and instruct client to keep mouth closed and not to bite on the thermometer
  • Remove the probe from the device and place a probe cover (from the box) on the oral thermometer without touching the cover with your hands
  • Note the temperature on the digital display of the device
  • Remove the thermometer when the device beeps
  • Place the probe back into the device
  • Discard the probe cover in the garbage (without touching the cover)

Tympanic Temperature Technique

  • Turn the device on
  • Remove the tympanic thermometer from the casing and place a probe cover (from the box) on the thermometer tip without touching the cover with your hands
  • Activate the device
  • Gently insert the probe into the opening of the ear
  • For an adult or older child, gently pull the helix up and back to visualize the ear canal. For an infant or younger child (under 3), gently pull the lobe down.
  • Discard the probe cover in the garbage (without touching the cover) and place the device back into the holder
  • Note the temperature on the digital display of the device

Axillary Temperature Technique

  • Place the thermometer in the client’s armpit as high up as possible into the axillae, on bare skin, with the point facing behind the client, and ask the client to lower his/her arm
  • Remove the probe from the device and place a probe cover (from the box) on the thermometer without touching the cover with your hands
  • Ask the client to raise the arm away from his/her body
  • Discard the probe cover in the garbage (without touching the cover) and place the probe back into the device
  • Note the temperature on the digital display of the device

Rectal Temperature Technique

  • Remove the probe from the device and place a probe cover on it
  • Lubricate the cover
  • Ensure the client’s privacy and wash your hands and put on gloves
  • Position the client appropriately
  • Gently insert the probe 2–3 cm inside the rectal opening of an adult, or less depending on the size of the client
  • Discard the probe cover in the garbage (without touching the cover) and place the probe back into the device
  • Remove your gloves and wash your hands
  • Note the temperature on the digital display of the device
Go to the next page to see the correct order of steps for these techniques.

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Test Yourself: List in the Correct Order by Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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