Application to Nursing Practice
Parents and other child caregivers rely on the expertise of nurses to provide evidence-based pediatric care and to consult on basic care issues. Synthesis and utilization of empirical research is an important aspect of evidence-based care. Temperature measurement is arguably one of the most common assessments within nursing practice and provides a critical tool in detecting fever in children. Interventions are frequently based on temperature assessments, as fever may indicate inflammatory or infectious processes. Temperature also provides information on the effectiveness of anti-pyretic medications. Instruments used to measure temperature must be thoroughly evaluated for accuracy.
Pacifier thermometers are one accessible method for approximating core body temperature in the home. These data support the accuracy of this supralingual temperature measure. Educating parents on the use of pacifier thermometers must include three critical components: (1) a consistent measure (site and instrument) is important for observing temperature changes over time, (2) a mathematical adjustment may be required to calculate a rectal temperature equivalent and any adjustments made must be reported along with the result, and (3) parent or caregiver reports of elevations in temperature must remain within the context of other critical assessments, including but not limited to child behavior, general appearance, eating patterns, fluid intake, and elimination patterns. Only within the context of the holistic assessment, can the highest quality of care be achieved.
The print version of this journal was originally certified for CE Credit, for accreditation details, please contact the publisher, Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc.
The author acknowledges the assistance of Molly Zignego, Elizabeth Von der Marwitz, Jesse Honsky, Amanda Blank, Jason Coleman, Amy Gould, and Jan Fiedler (current and former nursing students) for assistance in all phases of this project.Funding information
This study was funded through a faculty development grant from the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University and undergraduate research funds from the same institutions.
Pediatr Nurs. 2006;32(5):413-418. © 2006 Jannetti Publications, Inc.
Cite this: Accuracy of Pacifier Thermometers in Young Children - Medscape - Sep 01, 2006.