The patient has recently under gone rectal surgery.
The patient has diarrhea.
2-21. HOW DO I TAKE A RECTAL TEMPERATURE WITH A GLASS
Use the following procedures when taking a patient's rectal temperature.
a. Wash Hands. Perform a patient care hand wash.
b. Gather Materials. You will need to assemble the following items:
(1) Glass rectal thermometer(s). Rectal thermometers will normally be in a
tray such as was shown in figure 2-7. The difference between on oral thermometer tray
and a rectal thermometer tray is in the type of thermometers in the "clean" container.
(2) Lubricant. You will need a water-soluble lubricant. A lubricated
thermometer can be inserted into the rectum much easier than a thermometer that has
not been lubricated. If the lubricant is in a jar, you will need a tongue depressor or other
instrument to transfer the lubricant from the jar to the gauze pad.
(3) Gauze pads. The gauze pads are used to lubricate the thermometer
and to wipe the thermometer after you remove it from the patient's rectum.
Timepiece. A watch or clock with a second hand is preferred.
(5) Writing materials. You will need a pencil or pen and something on which
to write (form, note pad, etc.).
c. Verify That The Rectal Route Should Be Used. A rectal temperature
should be taken when one of the following conditions exist:
(1) The physician or nurse has ordered a rectal temperature and the
patient's condition does not contraindicate taking a rectal temperature.
(2) The physician or nurse has not stated the method to be used, the oral
method is contraindicated (paragraph 2-17b), and the rectal is not contraindicated
d. Verify Patient's Identity. Be sure to verify that you are taking the
temperature of the proper patient.
e. Tell Patient About Procedure. Tell the patient that you are going to take his
temperature rectally. Be sure to explain how you want the patient to position himself
(paragraph f) and inform him when you are going to insert and remove thermometer.