Thermometers play a pivotal role in assessing acute illnesses, particularly with children. As soon as a parent thinks their child is ill, they feel their forehead. There are different types of thermometers available, including electronic contact thermometers. Some methods of taking one’s temperature are more accurate than others, but they, too, have their downsides. The experts at Healthcare Solutions are here to help you find the right products for your medical needs.
Types of Thermometers
Over the years, various types of thermometers have been invented to provide accurate results:
Rectal: Deemed the most reliable, rectal thermometers are used on babies and children under the age of three. However, they are invasive since they must be inserted more than 1 cm and left in the rectum for about 10 seconds to gain a proper reading.
Oral: Children also do not tolerate oral thermometers since they provide discomfort. The thermometer is inserted under the tongue, and the person must keep their mouth closed for about 20 seconds for accurate results.
Axillary: A probe is connected to the thermometer and placed as high up as possible in the person’s armpit, which is also called the axilla. The person must leave their arm down over the probe between 10 to 30 seconds, depending on the machine model. This is a less invasive technique than the oral and rectal methods.
Infrared Tympanic: This version of an IR thermometer measures the radiation from the tympanic membrane, which is the eardrum. It is one of the best non-invasive methods of taking a person’s temperature.
Non-Contact Infrared (NCIT): Unlike the rectal, oral, axillary, and tympanic methods, the NCIT thermometer does not require any probe covers since it does not come into contact with a person and contract any bacteria. An NCIT is held a certain distance away from the person’s forehead to get a reading of their temperature.
*Some infrared thermometers are made for non-medical uses, such as cooking, so make sure you’re using the right model. The non-medical versions are also known as a temperature gun and have a laser. Infrared thermometers intended for individuals are shaped like a gun, but do not possess a laser. Adults and healthcare professionals must remember that the incorrect use of the device will lead to incorrect results.
How to Use an NCIT
Generally, an NCIT is held perpendicularly to a person’s forehead a short distance away. In other words, both you and the individual are looking straight ahead at each other with you holding the NCIT in between the both of you, pointing it at the individual’s exposed forehead.
What to Do and Not Do
In order for you to take their temperature, the individual must not be wearing a hat, headband, or anything that can obstruct the forehead to allow the NCIT to get a reading. Ensure that the individual’s forehead is dry.
The individual must be away from a heat source, including direct sunlight and fireplaces. Prior to using the NCIT, the individual must not add clothing that will increase or decrease their body’s temperature. Additionally, ensure the area you and the individual are in does not contain a draft.
Place the NCIT in the room where you and the individual will use it about 10-30 minutes prior to use. This will allow the device to adapt to the temperature of the room.
Do not touch the temperature measurement sensor and maintain its functionality by cleaning and drying it.
Keep in mind that each NCIT model differs, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. The users of a medical infrared thermometer may find that the device is too demanding since its accuracy depends on many factors. However, the non-contact feature may simplify your life if you have a fussy child. An NCIT produces the fastest results, even when you need to redo the process.
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