j. Insert Thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the patient's rectum using
the following steps:
Tell the patient that you are going to insert the thermometer.
(2) Using your free hand (the hand that is not holding the thermometer), lift
the patient's upper buttock slightly (see figure 2-12) until the anus is clearly exposed.
Figure 2-12. Inserting a rectal thermometer in an adult patient.
(3) Have the patient take a deep breath and then release the breath. (This
will help to relax the sphincter muscle that controls the opening and closing of the anus.)
Insert the lubricated bulb of the thermometer through the anus opening.
(5) Continue to gently insert the thermometer until one to two inches of the
thermometer has been inserted.
(6) Release your hold on the patient's upper buttock, but do not let go of the
If the patient is an infant, expose the rectal area by laying the infant on his
back and lifting both legs into the air (figure 2-13). Insert the lubricated
thermometer until 1/2 to 3/4 inches has been inserted.