BACKGROUND: The measurement of patient temperature by nursing staff is a common activity. In recent years this area of practice has been largely under-investigated despite the introduction of new technologies into clinical practice, such as infrared tympanic thermometry (IRTT).
STUDY AIM: To investigate current practice in clinical temperature measurement in general, and the use of IRTT in particular by nursing staff.
SAMPLE AND METHODS: 139 nursing staff from a general hospital in the UK were surveyed via a self-administered questionnaire.
MAIN FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS: The group most involved in temperature measurement was characterized as nursing auxiliary grades with the fewest years of experience. IRTT was the most frequently-used method for measuring patient temperatures, with high perceived accuracy, reliability, ease of use and acceptability to patients. A poor level of understanding and training in the use of IRTT was revealed across all clinical grades. Recommendations for future investigations are made.
- Health Care Surveys
- Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
- Practice Patterns, Physicians'
- Professional Competence
- Spectrophotometry, Infrared
- United Kingdom
- Journal Article