Ergonomics of medical thermometer

Introduction Of the many tools and instruments regarded as essential to the clinical examination, none has had such widespread application as the clinical thermometer. In the time of Hippocrates, only the hand was used to detect the heat or cold of the human body, although fever and chills were known as signs of morbid processes. In Alexandrine medicine, the pulse was observed as an index of disease, superseding the crude assessment of temperature. In the Middle Ages, the four humours were assigned the qualities of hot, cold, dry and moist, and thus fever again acquired importance.

Galileo in 1592 devised a crude temperature? measuring instrument, but it had no scale and therefore no numerical readings; further, it was affected by atmospheric pressure. A large step forward was achieved by Santorio (Sanctorio Sanctorius) who invented a mouth thermometer. Equipped with advanced technology, thermometers today allows easier and more comfortable use for the examiner and the patient. From Galileo’s first temperature-measuring instrument, to mercury-in-glass, and to digital and tympanic, thermometers have evolved to adapt and fit with human factors.

Statement of the Problem Thermometers have been changed, renovated, and redesigned over the past few decades. The question lies on how appropriate and ergonomically fit are today’s thermometers compared to the traditional mercury-in-glass thermometers; and which among these modern thermometers represents the best in all aspects. Objective The study is aimed to achieve the following: To determine the most ergonomically appropriate thermometer To distinguish the advantages and disadvantages of each type of thermometer To provide a recommendation for future developments.

Scope and Limitations The study focuses on examining the comparison between three types of thermometers—glass, digital, and tympanic. It is limited to the use of these thermometers in medical practices only. Analysis Tympanic thermometer In traditional glass thermometers, precision varies on what fraction of a degree it is possible to make a reading, thus making it dependent on the data collector’s reading accuracy. One of the biggest concerns of using a mercury-in-glass thermometer is the risk of potentially harming the population and the environment.

Widespread use of these thermometers means a higher chance of mercury-related accidents. It is due to the nature of the mercury that necessitates the use of glass for clear reading. Glass naturally breaks, and hazardous mercury leaks, so accidents are very common. Tympanic thermometer The tympanic thermometer relies on infrared light to detect thermal radiation. It is inserted into the external acoustic meatus part of the ear to determine the body temperature by measuring the infrared radiation emanating from the tympanic membrane.

Compared to the mercury-in-glass thermometer, the tympanic thermometer is more hygienic and simpler to use. It does not pose discomfort to the patient and is very quick to read. Aside from these features, it is also highly advantageous in terms of precision. Research shows that it registers a 1:1 ratio of infrared emission to true temperature. One problem in using tympanic thermometer is the presence of wax in the patient’s ear. However, a moderate amount of wax is negligible because ear wax is translucent to infrared energy. Digital Thermometer.

The advantages of the digital thermometer from the glass thermometer is that it’s a dual-scale (Fahrenheit and Celsius), water-resistant thermometer for quick, accurate temperature reading in 60 seconds. Moisture-resistant for worry-free cleaning, this digital thermometer can be used for oral, rectal or auxiliary (armpit) measuring and beeps to notify you when it is complete. Designed with an auto-off function to conserve battery life, this reliable diagnostic tool comes with 5 protective sheathes, a clear plastic case and it meets ASTM E1112 standards for accuracy and performance.

This clinical tool is designed to be ergonomically safer to the person that is using the thermometer. By these advantages digital and tympanic thermometers are one level higher than the mercury-in-glass thermometer. It is because of the risk of mercury spill and exposure that can cause death most especially on the infants. Aside from their safety advantages, tympanic and digital thermometers are more handy and easy to use. Digital Versus Tympanic When asked about which type of thermometer should replace the mercury-in-glass thermometer, the tympanic thermometer stands out as the reasonable choice.

Research shows that it provides a highly accurate reading compared to that of the digital thermometer. In terms of ergonomics, tympanic thermometer shows to be better than the digital. Patients would choose to be examined through a preferred comfortable way. The tympanic thermometer is not much of a hassle since it is designed to fit well in a patient’s ear without any risk for danger. Conclusion Thermometer is not simply an invention, it is but a development. One important factor to be considered in renovating the thermometer is its safety features. Ergonomics is often about safety.

Therefore, one must take into account the importance of ergonomics in designing devices, specifically the thermometer. It has been asserted that the tympanic thermometer suits best for clinical practices. It is safe, durable, appropriate, and precise. Its design offers a hassle-free process for temperature examination. Recommendation We suggest that in time they can make a universal thermometer that can measure all symptoms in our body. Maybe not only taking the temperature but also can take the heart rate or even in the surroundings room temperature.

But on the present digital and tympanic thermometers, it would be very useful if the data collectors can get the study to upgrade more from the thermometer, and it would be a great advancement for the medical teams and health care industry.

Sources http://www. mountainside-medical. com/products/Pro-Advantage-Digital-Thermometer. html http://medical-dictionary. thefreedictionary. com/tympanic+thermometer http://www. kendallhq. com/kendallhealthcare/ http://www. nursingtimes. net/an-investigation-into-the-accuracy-of-different-types-of-thermometers/197691. article http://www. nursingtimes. net/using-a-tympanic-thermometer/206101. article.

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