Chapter 2: Temperature

1. What is the most accurate way to take the temperature of a one-year-old client?

a. Oral temperature

b. Rectal temperature **

c. Axillae temperature

d. Tympanic temperature

Rationale: The correct answer is b (rectal temperature). Rectal temperature is the most accurate measurement method for children under two years of age, who are not able to readily follow directions.

2. An adult client is drinking coffee. How should the healthcare provider measure the client’s temperature? Select all that apply.

a. Take the client’s oral temperature right away

b. Take the client’s axillary temperature right away **

c. Take the client’s tympanic temperature right away **

d. Take the client’s rectal temperature in five minutes

e. Wait two minutes and take the client’s oral temperature

Rationale: The correct answers are b and c (take the client’s axillary or tympanic temperature right away). Recent consumption of a hot drink or cold drink alters a client’s oral temperature. Thus, temperature is taken via the axillary or tympanic route if a client has recently had a hot or cold drink. You can take an oral temperature if you wait 15 minutes after hot drink consumption.

3. What is the best way to measure temperature in a client who is confused? Select all that apply.

a. Oral temperature

b. Rectal temperature

c. Axillary temperature **

d. Tympanic temperature **

e. Temporal artery temperature **

Rationale: The correct answers are c, d, and e (axillary, tympanic and temporal artery temperature). A client who is confused often cannot follow directions, so they may not follow directions to close their mouth as required when taking an oral temperature. Additionally, it is not safe to measure rectal temperature when a client is confused. Thus, it is best to measure axillary, tympanic, or temporal artery temperature.

4. An infant’s tympanic temperature is 37.7°C. How should the healthcare provider respond?

a. Apply a cold compress

b. Re-take in the other ear

c. Recognize this as normal **

d. Take a rectal temperature

Rationale: The correct answer is c (recognize this as normal). A temperature of 37.7°C is normal for an infant, so no further action is required.

5. How should the healthcare provider take the temperature of an adult client who is post-operation day two following oral surgery?

a. Avoid measuring temperature

b. Take rectal temperature once a shift

c. Take tympanic temperature as needed **

d.Take oral temperature every four hours

Rationale: The correct answer is c (tympanic temperature). Taking oral temperature is avoided after oral surgery, and taking rectal temperature is avoided in the adult population. Thus, the best method is to measure tympanic temperature.