Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Mercury Thermometer

When I was a kid I went into hospital for an op and I had my temperature taken by a thermometer under my arm. That was the last time I saw a mercury thermometer.

Till of course today. See I'm used to tympanic thermometers. Put on a cover, jab into ear, push button and bang result. I don't even know if they are sill considered good practice what with mercury being poisonous and all. NHS direct doesn't think so.

Mercury thermometers are now being phased out, because they are dangerous if they get broken. Mercury is poisonous if swallowed, or if it comes into contact with the skin.

Only adults should use mercury thermometers because children are more likely to bite it and break the glass. You should shake a mercury thermometer before you use it. This is so that the mercury goes back into the bulb of the thermometer, which will allow you to take an accurate reading To take a person's temperature, you can place a mercury thermometer either in their mouth, or under their armpit.


So another one for the lecturers. And that shaking the mercury down? Still haven't managed it yet!

7 comments:

somnambulant said...

Part of our skills lab last week was vitals and there was only a short blurb in our book about mercury thermometers. We practiced tympanic (what I'm used to), oral, axillary and watch a video on rectal.

There was one young'un who had no idea what a mercury thermometer was. Geez.

WardBunny said...

Ah... young people! My lecturer wondered why the heck I had a problem because that 'is what we used'. To which I responded 'if it doesn't go bleep, I'm not really sure of it'. Which is sadly rather true considering infusion pumps, digital thermometers, etc.

I'm getting used to it now, oddly enough....

Geek2Nurse said...

It's all in the wrist. You don't so much shake as *flick*. Think of the motion you'd use to flick someone with a wet towel, and do that with the thermometer - just don't forget to hang on! :)

WardBunny said...

It's the not hanging on I'm scared of! I've seen our mercury spill clean up regulations.... personally I don't have a couple of spare hours to go through that.

Nitrile Gloves said...

Only adults should use mercury thermometers because children are more likely to bite it and break the glass. You should shake a mercury thermometer before you use it.

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durga said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.



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