Clinical skills for nurses – how to check and record a patient’s body temperature
All patients must be assessed for fitness before they can undergo surgery. As part of this assessment it is important to check and record the patient’s temperature. There are two reasons for this:
It provides an initial recording (a ‘baseline’). If the temperature rises above this level after surgery, we are alerted to the fact that the patient may have an infection.
It allows us to confirm that it is safe to operate on the patient. A high temperature may suggest an infection, which will have to be treated before the patient can undergo surgery.