Digital thermometers. – Non-contact and ear thermometers

There are different types of digital thermometer to take someone’s temperature. The two most common ones are the non-contact thermometer and the ear thermometer. With the non-contact thermometer, you have a button on the front and you can push the button, the display will light up and you hold that and don’t touch it onto their skin, just hold it away from their skin, usually on their forehead. Hold it on for a few seconds, the display will light up and it will give you a clear indication of the temperature. They are often colour-coded as well, so if the temperature’s too hot, then the display will light up in red. So it’s a very clear, easy way of taking someone’s temperature. They are very clean, very hygienic, you can wipe them down and as with any testing, you would always recommend wearing gloves. The ear thermometer is slightly different. Now, this, you have a cap on the top, which you just twist and the cap comes off. And on the front, you have a button and that will turn the unit on. And, also, most of these have a memory function on them as well and a scan button on the end.

And this is inserted into the ear, but the important thing with this is, you don’t ever just put that straight into the ear because the actual probe can be a very high level of infection risk. So you would always use a cover. Different models have different types of cover. This one’s a very thin, plastic cover. So you just pop that on and just twist it around, usually just a half a turn and the cover is now on. So that’s now safe to pop into someone’s ear, you push the button on the end, that will activate the temperature and you can look on the display and see what the temperature is. So when you take a patient’s temperature, take the temperature and then write down the results. And often if there’s a concern, we would come back and do the testing again. Maybe an hour later, just so that we got a good average so that if someone is showing a higher temperature, we know that there is an actual increase in their natural body temperature, rather than at that particular moment in time, they’ve hot drinks, they’ve had food or other environmental reasons have caused the temperature to give a false high reading. And finally, with the ear thermometers, you need to remove the cover and you need to discard that with clinical waste, remembering every time you’re using this, you, in fact, would be wearing gloves.

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