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

Equipment - Traditional mercury-filled or digital rectal thermometer

Testing procedures

  1. Rectal temperature can be taken with the patient lying on one side and the hips flexed.
  2. Wearing exam gloves, lubricate the thermometer and insert it into the rectum 3-4 cm (1 ½ in).
  3. Remove the thermometer after 3 minutes and read. Alternatively, a digital thermometer can be used with a lubricated probe cover.
  4. Document your findings.

Clinical notes

  • Most experts agree that this method of taking a patient’s temperature is the most accurate.
  • Temperatures taken rectally tend to be 0.7 to 0.9 °F higher than those taken orally.
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Section: Body Temperature
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