Frequently Asked Questions on Thermometers

Why do I need to use a sterile thermometer?

Using a sterile thermometer reduces the risk of introducing infection or contamination to patients. Reusable thermometers are classified as intermediate risk items, and therefore must be sterilized before use.

Why do you get inconsistent results sometimes?

When thermometers are used to take multiple temperatures over the same area in rapid succession, it will ultimately cool the area causing differences.

Is a thermometer sensitive to ambient temperatures?

Yes, it is sensitive to ambient temperature. As long as the thermometer is in approximately the same ambient temperature as the individual whose temperature is being taken it will produce accurate results.

What is arterial temperature?

Arterial temperature is the same temperature as the blood flowing from the heart. It is the best determinate of body temperature.

What is the normal body temperature?

Normal body temperature - 37C (98.6F), measured using a thermometer in the mouth.