A Holding the thermometer.
B Rotating the thermometer.
C Reading the Fahrenheit thermometer.
D Same temperature on a Celsius thermometer.
Figure 2-1. Reading a glass thermometer.
In order to assist you with reading the patient's temperature, most
thermometers have an arrow pointing to the line denoting the average normal
body temperature (98.6 F or 37 C). Additional information concerning
conversion between the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales is
presented in MD0900, Basic Mathematics.
b. Rotate the Thermometer. The stem of the thermometer is not perfectly
round. Its flattened areas act as a magnifying glass to make the hollow shaft in the
stem appear larger. (The flattened areas also keep the thermometer from rolling off a
flat surface.) Using your fingertips, slowly rotate the thermometer back and forth until
the mercury in the shaft is clearly visible (see figure 2-1 B). The column of mercury will
appear to be silver in color and the rest (empty part) of the shaft will appear whitish.
The column of mercury should be visible just above the numbers.
c. Locate the Nearest Temperature Mark. There are several temperature
markings (lines) on a thermometer. Identify the marking that is closest to the point
where the mercury in the shaft stops (where the silver meets the white).