Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Read a Glass Thermometer – Instructions and Practice

Step-by-Step Guide to Reading Thermometers - Photo by Zwager at Wikimedia Commons
Reading a glass thermometer is a helpful skill to learn. Although many thermometers now have a digital reading, quite a few people have glass thermometers in their homes, and some facilities use glass thermometers in certain circumstances. Glass thermometers may be invaluable for assessing temperature in areas without easy access to electrical power or batteries.

Below are a few tips for reading a glass thermometer. This is not a complete list of steps for the procedure of taking a temperature but simply focuses on how to read the thermometer. Use standard precautions to protect oneself, obtain informed consent, and provide for privacy.
  • Shake the liquid in the thermometer down below at least 96 degrees F using a flicking motion of the wrist - stand away from furniture and other hard objects to avoid breaking the thermometer.
  • Choose an appropriate route (oral, axillary, rectal).
  • Leave the thermometer in place for the length of time appropriate for the route.
  • After removing the thermometer, use care not to clean with alcohol before reading it, but wipe it with a tissue instead. (The thermometer should be thoroughly cleaned after recording the number.)
  • Hold the thermometer at eye level, slowly rolling it between the thumb and forefinger until a colored line appears and focus on where the line stops.
  • Read the temperature to the closest line and record.
Here is a graphic showing what the lines and numbers on a glass thermometer represent (click on the image to enlarge):

How to Read a Glass Thermometer
Here is an example of how to read a glass thermometer:

Example Showing How to Read a Mercury Thermometer
Practice reading the following thermometers below. The correct answer follows each example.

How to Use the Thermometer Practice Flash Cards:
  1. Click on the first image below to enlarge. 
  2. Click on the slide to advance to the next slide. (Click on the next thumbnail at the bottom of the screen if that does not work.)
Readers may also wish to review:
I hope you have found these practice flash cards for reading a glass or mercury thermometer to be helpful! Find more flash cards, practice tests, and tips at the Student Survive 2 Thrive site map.
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #1


Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #1

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #2

Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #2

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #3

Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #3

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #4

Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #4

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #5

Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #5

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #6

Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #6

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #7

Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #7

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #8

Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #8




Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #9
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #9
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #10
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #10
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #11
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #11

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #12
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #12
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #13

Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #13
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #14
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #14
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #15
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #15
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #16
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #16
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #17
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #17

Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #18
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #18
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #19
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #19
Read a Glass Thermometer Practice Example #20
Answer for Glass Thermometer Practice #20

13 comments:

  1. I have to read a mercury thermometer as part of my first clinical check off this week. These were so helpful!! Thank you very much for posting study aids :)

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    1. Thanks for the positive feedback on my practice test on reading a thermometer. I'm glad you found it helpful and I wish you the best on your clinicals!

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  2. Thank you so much for this, This definitely help me for my first clinical test, Thanks!

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    1. You're welcome! I hope lots of people will find this practice test helpful before starting clinicals.

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    2. Thank you so much! I was in class and just could not read the actual Thermometer. And I know my class mates were probably saying that I was stupid. Thanks to this I got it now. Such a big help! I knew I could do it.

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    3. I'm so glad you found my article helpful! I try to find ways to explain concepts that will give folks the skills and confidence to be successful. And, don't EVER let others tear you down. You can do whatever you set your mind to accomplish.

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  3. Have a finals coming up on Friday April 11, 2014 and this was very helpful. Thank you.

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  4. I wish you the best on your finals!

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  5. I have my yearly exam coming, so this is very helpful.

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  6. For some reason I just wasnt getting how to read thermometers but this has really cleared everything up and has helped me tremendously it was simple and easy to follow thank you so much for sharing

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found this resource helpful and easy to follow!

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  7. Thank you for sharing. Its informative and full of information.

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    1. Thanks, Nursing in Australia! And hello from the other side of the big pond. :)

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Thanks for reading my article and sending your comment! I personally review all comments before they go live and try to answer any questions, so check back soon if you are looking for a response.