The purpose of taking the rectal temperature is to observe and record accurately the patient’s temperature and to observe general condition of the patient.
|1. Lubricate the mercury bulb and an area one inch above the bulb||Lubrication reduces friction and thereby facilitates insertion of the thermometer and minimizes irritation of the mucous membrane of the anal canal|
|2. Turn adult patient on his side in a comfortable position. If child, place on his back. Separate the fold of the buttocks so that the anal sphincter is seen clearly. Insert the thermometer 1 ½ inches, permit buttocks to fall in place||The bulb of the thermometer may injure the sphincter, or hemorrhoid if present, if not placed directly into the anal opening|
|3. Leave the thermometer in place for 2-3 minutes. Hold the thermometer in place if patient is irritated or a child||To allow sufficient time for the thermometer to register in a more accurate measurement of body temperature|
|4. Remove the thermometer and wipe it once from the fingers to the mercury bulb, using a firm twisting motion||Fecal matter and lubricant on the thermometer may make reading difficult to minimize infection|
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