One of the most important medical instruments we use from time to time is the thermometer. Although it’s quite simple as an instrument, its functionality is what makes it so useful to people in homes, clinics, hospitals, laboratories and so on. You probably already know what a thermometer does due to it being used everywhere.
A thermometer is defined as an instrument that indicates or measures temperature. Although this definition can apply to most types of thermometer, each thermometer may significantly differ from the other in terms of its use. In this article, we will discuss the different types of thermometers that have obtained mainstream popularity.
Mercury and Alcohol Thermometer
This is the most common form of clinical thermometer, but they can also be used for some other purposes. This form of thermometer usually has a glass tube construction with a bulb at one end. The bulb holds the majority of the alcohol or mercury. The glass tube is calibrated in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. The mercury or alcohol in the bulb expands along the glass tube as temperature rises. This expansion of mercury or alcohol indicates a rise in temperature according to the calibration on the glass tube. You can easily read off the temperature by observing which mark the mercury or alcohol aligns with on the thermometer. These types of thermometers are useful to people everywhere and are widely used.
This is also a very commonly used thermometer for medical purposes in clinics and hospitals. They make use of infrared and are placed on the temporal artery of the forehead in order to take temperature readings. However, compared to digital thermometers they are not very reliable in terms of precision. Most people believe that the temperature detection we get from forehead strips is only 35 to 50% accurate. Forehead strips are very suitable for babies under 3 months of age and small kids who are usually resistant to using other forms of the thermometer. It is important that you follow instructions properly before using them because an inappropriately placed forehead strip will not take detect temperature accurately.
Digital thermometers have become very popular for measuring temperature mainly due to their affordable price, precision, and ease of use. With traditional clinical mercury thermometers, you can sometimes make mistakes while reading the temperature. However, this problem would not occur with a digital thermometer because it displays the reading directly on a screen. Other than that, this thermometer is also suitable for all ages. No thermometer is completely reliable, but the digital thermometer is the closest as we can possibly get to the correct body temperature. If you take a measurement for ages above 3, just add 1 degree to the displayed reading to obtain a general sense of body temperature. However, for anyone below the age of 3, it is better to take a rectal temperature with a digital thermometer to get a precise measurement. You can also use the digital thermometer in the mouth to take accurate temperature readings.
If you are looking for one of the best ways to take a child’s temperature, then the ear thermometer is something you could look into. It is also known as a tympanic thermometer. Some parents like to use this thermometer on their child because of the relative ease with which they can take temperature readings. The head of this thermometer can easily be placed in your child’s ear to take accurate readings of temperature. However, you must keep in mind that it is not suitable for children under 6 months of age, and the placement of this thermometer inside the ear canal is vital for precise reading. Moreover, keep in mind that you may obtain inaccurate reading if your child has excess ear wax in their ears.
This is one form of thermometer that is not used for medical purposes but still manages to be quite popular. They are widely used to take the temperature of liquids, foods, and semi-solid samples. They come with a pointed sharp tip that can easily penetrate objects in order to take temperature readings. One of their common uses includes hygiene testing in the catering business. They are also used in laboratories and retail outlets. There are mainly two probe thermometers available in the market: fixed probes and wired probes. Fixed have a pen-like construction and are generally simpler to use than wired probes. However, wired probes usually come with additional functionality such as the ability to fold and alarms.
There are plenty of thermometers available in the market. Many thermometers such as forehead strips, mercury and alcohol thermometers, digital thermometers, and tympanic are mainly used for clinical purposes. Although their primary purpose might be the same, each of them works differently and suits different people based on age.
They also differ in terms of overall precision and ease of use. Other than that, there is a thermometer that specifically serve non-medical purposes such as food-testing or in laboratories. Probe Thermometer is one of the best non-medical thermometer out there that can take a precise reading of solids, semi-solids, and liquids. You should always choose the thermometer that suits your purpose the best.