How To Measure Body Temperature [Micro Lecture]

In today’s micro-lecture, Australian Paramedical College Hon. Snr. Lecturer Sam Willis talks about taking somebody’s core body temperature using a digital thermometer in important paramedical practice and situations.

In today’s micro lecture, we are going to talk about taking somebody’s core body temperature using a digital thermometer. Now, this is something that you’ll be taught in the workshops again, and be given a chance to practice this. However, taking a body temperature is a really really important and useful skill from a primary perspective.

Think about the typical situations that your going to find. You need to differentiate between somebody having a cardiac chest pain, and a respiratory chest pain. That’s the most obviously example I can use. On most occasions, patients having chest infections or some kind of infection will have a raised body temperature. If somebody’s complaining to you with a chest pain, and giving you signs and symptoms of a chest infection, other words sharp, stabbing, shortness of breath, coughing, mucus, you need to be taking a temperature.

Let’s take a look at some of the temperature devices that are on the market. Thermometer devices that are on the market. Now, this one here is an ear thermometer, or a tympanic thermometer. Now, these devices here are actually placed … You place an ear probe over the top. Now, some of them will automatically turn on when you place that probe over the top. Then you place it into the patient’s ear, you do what’s called a tug, a tragus tug, so you lift it upwards to expose the canal, the ear canal. Place it into the patient’s ear, and then you press one of the buttons.

Now, it really is as simple as that. It will automatically give you a core body temperature. Now, we’re talking core body temperature because that’s the most important one to measure. Peripheral body temperature, which in other words, when you touch your patient, and you feel either hot or cold is not really that useful when trying to measure a person’s temperature.
Sam Willis: Now, this one here is a sublingual temperature … thermometer. Now, these sublingual thermometers go underneath the tongue, sublingual. Under the tongue. Because, there is a pocket of heat there. Now, the idea is you place it under the patient’s tongue, you leave it there for a number of seconds, and again, it measures the patient’s core body temperature.

Let me go back a step, because I want to show you guys how many different types of device there are on the market. Our cost it very much depends on your ambulance service, as to which one they will use. Some of these are not … Electronic thermometer … Core body temperature. It’s really useful to do this, because then you get an idea of what’s available. The most commonly used ones in my experience are these ones here that you put into the ear, and these sublingual ones are generally used in nursing practice. But, regardless of which one you use, the process and the skill of taking a core body temperature is really, really important to you as a paramedic.

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