d. Determine the Temperature Reading. The method you use to determine
the temperature reading of the mark you selected in the previous step depends upon
whether you are using a Fahrenheit thermometer or a Celsius thermometer.
(1) Fahrenheit thermometer. On a thermometer that uses the Fahrenheit
temperature scale, each long mark shows a whole degree of temperature. There are
four shorter lines between each pair of long lines. These shorter lines show an increase
of two-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit (0.2F). For example, the first short mark past (to
the right of) the 98F mark shows a temperature reading of 98.2F. The second mark
shows a reading of 98.4 F. The third mark is 98.6F and the fourth is 98.8 F. The next
mark is a long line and represents a reading of 99o F. In figure 2-1 C, the temperature
reading is 99.4 F.
(2) Celsius thermometer. Like the Fahrenheit temperature, each long line
on a thermometer using the Celsius scale denotes a whole degree of temperature. On
the Celsius scale; however, there are nine shorter marks between each pair of long
marks. Each small mark shows an increase of one-tenth of a degree Celsius (0.1 C).
For example, the third short mark past the 38 C line denotes a temperature reading of
38.3C. Figure 2-1 D shows the same temperature as figure 2-1 C using a Celsius
scale thermometer. The Celsius reading is 37.4 C.
WILL A TEMPERATURE GO DOWN BEFORE IT IS READ?
Glass thermometers are designed so that the temperature reading will not go
down (decrease) when the thermometer is removed from the patient. The temperature
reading will remain unchanged unless the bulb end of the thermometer comes in
contact with something hotter than the temperature reading shown on the thermometer
or the thermometer is shaken down. "Shaking down" is the term given to the method of
forcing mercury from the stem back into the bulb.
2-10. WHY ARE GLASS THERMOMETERS SHAKEN DOWN?
If a glass thermometer is not shaken down, then the thermometer continues to
keep the same temperature reading. If it were to be used again on a second patient
with a lower temperature, the thermometer would still show the temperature of the first
2-11. HOW DO I "SHAKE DOWN" A GLASS THERMOMETER?
a. Stand in a Clear Area. Stand in a clear area so that you will not hit the
thermometer against anything during the shaking down process. Remember, the
thermometer is glass and may shatter if it strikes anything hard like a table or bed