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an instrument for determining temperatures, in principle making use of a substance (such as alcohol or mercury) with a physical property that varies with temperature and is susceptible of measurement on some defined scale.
axilla thermometer a clinical thermometer that is placed in the axilla.
Celsius thermometer one that uses the Celsius scale.
centigrade thermometer one having the interval between two established reference points divided into 100 equal units, such as the Celsius thermometer.
clinical thermometer one used to determine the temperature of the human body.
electronic thermometer a clinical thermometer that uses a sensor based on thermistors, solid-state electronic devices whose electrical characteristics change with temperature. The reading is recorded within seconds, some having a red light or other device to indicate when maximum temperature is reached. Available models include hand-held, desk-top, and wall-mounted units, all having probes that are inserted orally or rectally.
Fahrenheit thermometer one that uses the Fahrenheit scale.
Kelvin thermometer one that uses the Kelvin scale.
oral thermometer a clinical thermometer whose mercury containing bulb is placed under the tongue.
recording thermometer a temperature-sensitive instrument by which the temperature to which it is exposed is continuously recorded.
rectal thermometer a clinical thermometer that is inserted in the rectum.
resistance thermometer one that uses the electric resistance of metals (thermocouple) to determine temperature.
2. one that registers the maximum or minimum temperature attained in the measurement.
tympanic thermometer an electronic clinical thermometer that gives a digital reading in less than two seconds. Second-generation tympanic thermometers work by monitoring the temperature when the ear opening is sealed.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.