m. Place Thermometer in "Used" Container. Once you have read and
recorded the patient's oral temperature, place the thermometer into the thermometer
container marked "used." The thermometers in this container will be prepared for reuse
n. Wash Hands. Perform another patient care hand wash after you have
finished taking the patient's (or patients') temperature(s).
o. Turn in Tray. After you have completed taking the temperatures, turn in the
thermometer tray in accordance with procedures given in the local standing operating
2-19. HOW DO I TAKE AN ORAL TEMPERATURE WITH AN ELECTRIC
Be sure that you know how to operate the electric thermometer before using it to
take a patient's temperature. Information on how to operate the electric thermometer
can usually be found in an operator's manual kept on the unit or found in the unit's SOP.
Different types of electric thermometers have different operating procedures. The steps
given below are general in nature. Before using an unfamiliar electric thermometer, be
sure to read the instructions pertaining to that thermometer.
a. Wash Hands. Perform a patient care hand wash.
b. Gather Materials. You will need the following items:
Electric thermometer with oral (blue) color-coded temperature probe.
Probe covers (usually found with electric thermometer).
Watch or clock (with second hand, if possible).
Pencil or pen.
Something on which to write (usually a form or sheet of paper).
An electrical outlet, unless the electric thermometer is battery-powered.
c. Verify That the Oral Route Should Be Used. Any situation that would
prevent you from taking a patient's oral temperature with a glass thermometer will also
prevent you from taking his oral temperature with an electric thermometer.
d. Verify Patient's Identity. Make sure that you are taking the temperature of
the patient properly by checking the patient's identification bracelet and bed card and/or
asking the patient his name.