(6) If the thermometer will take several seconds to register the patient's
temperature, release your hold on the patient's buttock. If the thermometer will register
the temperature in only a few seconds, you may wish to keep the buttock raised rather
than raising it again to remove the probe. In either case, do not let go of the
l. Wait for Signal. Hold the temperature probe in place until the thermometer
signals (red light, etc.) that the patient's temperature has been determined.
m. Remove Probe. If you have released the patient's upper buttock, raise the
buttock again. Then carefully remove the probe from the patient's rectum. After the
probe has been removed, release the patient's buttock and cover the patient again
(reposition gown, pajamas, bed sheet, and so forth).
n. Read and Record Temperature. Read the patient's temperature from the
display and record the reading. If the electric thermometer does not display the
temperature rounded to the nearest 0.2 F or 0.1 C, round off the patient's temperature
to this degree of accuracy. Write " " above reading to indicate that the temperature is
a rectal temperature.
o. Discard Probe Cover. Eject the probe cover into a waste container.
p. Return Probe to Resting Place. Return the probe to its resting place. If
additional actions are required to reset the temperature display to be used again,
perform those actions.
q. Wash Hands. Perform another patient care hand wash.
2-23. WHEN SHOULD I TAKE AN AXILLARY TEMPERATURE?
You will take a patient's axillary temperature if the physician or nurse orders the
patient's temperature to be taken in that manner. You will also take the axillary
temperature when both an oral temperature and a rectal temperature are
contraindicated. An axillary temperature is less accurate than either a rectal
temperature or an oral temperature; therefore, you must use extra care when taking an
axillary temperature to ensure as accurate a measurement as possible.
2-24. HOW TO TAKE AN AXILLARY TEMPERATURE?
An axillary temperature is taken with an oral thermometer, not a rectal
thermometer. Normally, axillary temperature is taken with a glass thermometer rather
than an electric thermometer. Use the following procedures to take a patient's axillary
temperature with a glass thermometer.