How To Use A Thermometer Rectally
Need to know how to use a thermometer rectally? Most of the time, you can use a thermometer in the mouth. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to use a thermometer rectally. This is the case for babies, who can not hold a thermometer under their tongue for the required amount of time. Read on for more information on using a thermometer in the rectum.
What you'll need to use a thermometer rectally:
- isopropyl alcohol
- rectal thermometer - not a normal glass one!
- antibacterial wipes
- petroleum jelly
How to Use a Thermometer Rectally:
- Put on gloves. This is pretty self-explanatory - just pull on your latex or non-latex gloves. Use non-latex if you're allergic to latex.
- Disinfect the rectal thermometer. Using antibacterial wipes, wipe down the thermometer thoroughly.
- Shake down thermometer. Shake the thermometer down until it is under 98 degrees.
- Apply petroleum jelly. Cover the end of the rectal thermometer - about half an inch that will be inserted into the rectum. This is for lubrication.
- Position the person. Have the child or person lay on their side with their knees pulled up for easy access to the rectum.
- Insert rectal thermometer. Insert the thermometer only one half inch into the rectum in order to get an accurate temperature. Do so in a slow, gentle motion so as not to injure the person.
- Wait two minutes. Leave the rectal thermometer inside the rectum for two minutes, and then slowly remove it.
- Wipe off thermometer. Wipe the rectal thermometer with tissue to clear off the petroleum jelly.
- Read the temperature. Read the thermometer to take the temperature. A normal rectal temperature is 99.6 degrees fahrenheit.
- Disinfect the rectal thermometer. Pull out another antibacterial wipe and wipe down the thermometer thoroughly.
- Remove gloves. Take off your latex gloves and discard them.
- Wash hands. Thoroughly wash your hands with disinfecting soap or hand sanitizer.
That's it - you now know how to use a thermometer rectally. Although it is more difficult than using an oral thermometer, use of a rectal thermometer is more accurate. Your rectal thermometer usually comes with directions for use, so you can refer to those as well.