a. Wash Hands. Perform a patient care hand wash.
b. Gather Materials. You will need the following:
(1) Thermometer tray with oral glass thermometers. (Use pear-shaped tip
or stubby tip thermometers only since the long tip bulb could injure the patient's skin.)
Watch or clock (preferably with a second hand).
Pencil or pen.
Form, note pad, or other writing material.
c. Verify That the Axillary Route Should Be Used. You should take the
patient's temperature using the axillary (under arm) route if either of the following
(1) The physician or nurse orders that the temperature be taken using the
Both the oral and rectal routes are contraindicated (paragraphs 2-17b
d. Verify the Patient's Identity. Make sure that you are taking the temperature
of the proper patient.
e. Position Patient. Tell the patient that you are going to take his temperature.
Help the patient arrange his clothing so that his axillary area is fully exposed (remove
one arm from pajama tops or from gown, and so forth). When practical, have the
patient lie on his back. (Having the patient lie on his back will greatly reduce the danger
of the thermometer dropping onto the floor.)
f. Examine Thermometer. Pick up one of the thermometers from the "clean"
container on the thermometer tray. Make sure that it is a pear-shaped or stubby-tipped
oral thermometer. Read the thermometer. Shake down the thermometer before using,
if the reading on the thermometer is 94.0 F or above,
g. Position Thermometer.
(1) Have the patient raise his arm so that the underarm area is fully
exposed. You may need to assist the patient by supporting his arm.