Figure 2-8. Location of heat pockets in mouth.
Figure 2-9. Positioning an oral thermometer.
(3) Secure the thermometer. Once the thermometer is in place, tell the
patient to relax his tongue (thus covering the bulb of the thermometer) and to close his
lips firmly over the thermometer. Be sure to tell the patient to not bite down on the
thermometer. (If the patient bites down on the thermometer with his teeth, he may
break the thermometer.) Once the patient has closed his lips over the thermometer,
remove your fingers from the thermometer. If the thermometer slips or droops, you may
need to position the thermometer again.
h. Wait At Least Three Minutes. If the thermometer has been placed properly
under the patient's tongue, three minutes will be sufficient time to obtain an accurate
reading. Leaving the thermometer in place more than three minutes will not interfere
with the accuracy of the temperature reading. You can use the three minutes to
measure the patient's pulse rate and breathing rate if you wish. If you are taking the
oral temperatures of a group of patients, you may wish to begin taking the temperatures
of other patients while you are waiting for the first patient's temperature reading.