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Chapter: 11th Nursing : Chapter 5 : Nursing - Health Assessment and Physical Examination

Types of Thermometers

1) Mercury thermometers (Clinical thermometer) 2) Electronic thermometer 3) Temporal artery thermometer 4) Disposable thermometer

Types of Thermometers

1)       Mercury thermometers (Clinical thermometer)

2)       Electronic thermometer

3)       Temporal artery thermometer

4)       Disposable thermometer

1.        Mercury thermometers (Clinical thermometer):

Clinical thermometers are meant for clinical purposes. It is developed for measuring the human body temperature. It is a long narrow glass tube with a bulb containing mercury at the end.

The normal human body temperature is 37ºC. It can fluctuate between the ranges 35ºC. The level of mercury tells our body temperature in ºC. Since mercury is toxic element has been eliminated from health care facilities because of the environmental hazards of mercury. When you find a mercury – in – glass thermometer in the home

Teach the patient about safer temperature devices and encourage the disposal of mercury products at appropriate neighbourhood hazardous disposal locations.

2.        Electronic thermometer: 

The electronic thermometer consists of a rechargable battery – powered display unit, a thin wire cord and a temperature – processing probe covered by a disposable probe cover. Separate unbreakable probes are available

For oral and rectal use. You can also use the oral probe for auxiliary temperature measurement. Electronic thermometers provide two modes of operation; a 4-second predictive temperature and a 3-minute standard temperature. A sound signals, and a … Readings appears on the display unit when the Peak temperature readings has been measured.

3.        Temporal artery thermometer: 

Measures the temperature of the superficial temporal artery. A handheld scanner with an infrared sensor tip defects the temperature of Cetaceous blood flow by sweeping the sensor across the forehead and just behind the ear. After scanning is complete, a reading appears on the display unit. Temporal artery temperature is reliable non-invasive measure of core temperature.

4.        Disposable thermometer: 

Single use (or) reusable chemical dot thermometers are thin strips of plastic with dots on the surface that have been impregnated with temperature – sensitive chemicals. The strips are sticker on the armpit and prevent slippage.

The dots change colour at different temperatures (within 60 seconds) as the chemicals in them respond to body heat. In the Celsius version there are 50 dots, each representing a temperature increment of 0.1ºC, over a range of 35.5 – 40.4ºC.

The Fahrenheit version has 45 dots with increments of 0.2ºF and range of 96-104.8ºF. Disposable thermometers are usually for oral temperatures. You also use them at auxiliary with a placement time of minutes. Chemical dot thermometers are useful for screening temperatures, especially in infants and young children and patients who are incubated.

Purpose of Taking Temperature

1)       To aid in diagnosis or the patient’s condition

2)       To find out the progress of the patient.


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