e. Prepare Thermometer. Make sure that the electric thermometer is working
and ready to use. Several electric thermometers indicate that they are ready for use by
displaying an initial temperature reading, such as displaying a reading of 94.0o F, when
the probe is removed from its resting place. If such a thermometer does not show a
display, check the electrical outlet or batteries, as applicable.
f. Cover Probe. Insert the oral probe into a probe cover. The exact procedure
used will depend upon the operating instructions for the thermometer you are using.
Normally, you will insert to probe into a box containing probe covers. The innermost
cover will automatically attach to the probe. You should not allow the probe cover to
touch anything before the probe is inserted into the patient's mouth.
g. Tell Patient About Procedure. Tell the patient that you are going to take his
temperature and give additional instructions as needed.
h. Position the Probe. Place the heat sensing part of the probe so that it is
lying on top of one of the heat pockets. The procedures are basically the same as for
taking an oral temperature with a glass thermometer.
Tell the patient to open his mouth and lift his tongue.
Place the end of the probe over one of the heat pocket.
Tell the patient to relax his tongue and close his lips (not his teeth) over
(4) Do not let go of the probe. Keep holding the probe in place with your
thumb and finger(s).
i. Wait for Signal. Continue holding the probe in place in the patient's mouth
until the electric thermometer gives the signal that the patient's temperature has been
(1) Hold the probe so that it is steady (not moving) and is in constant
contact with the tissue of the heat pocket.
(2) The signal that the patient's temperature has been determined is usually
a red light that lights upon the main body of the electric thermometer.
(3) The time required for the temperature to be determined depends upon
the thermometer, but is usually less than 60 seconds.
j. Remove Probe. When the machine signals that the patient's temperature
has been determined, ask the patient to open his mouth. When the patient releases his
hold upon the probe, remove the probe from his mouth.