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Measuring Body Temperature
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Test to be performed - Measuring body temperature orally

Equipment - Temperature by mouth can be determined by utilizing a traditional mercury-filled thermometer or digital thermometer that uses an electronic probe cover to measure body temperature.
Testing procedures
  1. When taking an oral temperature, shake down the glass mercury thermometer to 96°F (35°C) or below. This procedure is not needed for digital thermometers.
  2. Have the patient place the thermometer under one side of the back of the tongue as pictured to the right.
  3. Instruct the patient to close both lips around the thermometer and breath through his/her nose.
  4. Wait 3-5 minutes for a mercury thermometer or until the digital beep sounds if using a digital device.
  5. If using a mercury thermometer, reinsert the thermometer after the initial reading for 1 minute and read again. If the temperature is still rising, repeat this procedure until the reading remains stable.
Clinical notes - The clinician should note that hot and cold liquids consumed by patients within the past 15 minutes can adversely affect thermometer readings.
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Section: Body Temperature
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