o. Record Reading. Write the patient's temperature reading on the form or
piece of paper. After you record the temperature reading, write a circled "R"( )above
the reading. The indicates that the temperature is a rectal temperature rather than an
p. Place Thermometer in "Used" Container. After recording the patient's
rectal temperature, place the used thermometer into the container marked "used" on the
q. Wash Hands. Perform a patient care hand wash after taking a rectal
r. Turn in Tray. After you have completed taking rectal temperatures, turn in
the temperature tray according to local procedures. The thermometers must be
decontaminated before they are used again.
2-22. HOW DO I TAKE A RECTAL TEMPERATURE WITH AN ELECTRIC
If you are not familiar with the electric thermometer you will be using, read the
instructions provided in the operator's manual or in your SOP before using the
thermometer to take a patient's temperature. The general procedures for taking a
patient's temperature with an electric thermometer are given below.
a. Wash Hands. Perform a patient care hand wash before beginning the
b. Gather Materials. You will need the following items:
Electric thermometer with rectal (red) temperature probe.
Probe covers (usually found with electric thermometer).
(3) Lubricant (usually a jelly or mineral oil), and if needed, an instrument
(such as a tongue depressor) to transfer the lubricant from the container to the gauze
Watch or clock (with second-hand, if possible).
Pen or pencil.
Something on which to write (form, note pad, and so forth).
Electrical outlet, unless the thermometer is battery-powered.