Temperature is an important vital sign because it provides current data about the client’s health and illness state. Changes in body temperature act as a cue for healthcare providers’ diagnostic reasoning.
There are many ways to measure temperature. In determining the best method, the healthcare provider considers agency policy, the client’s age and health and illness state, and the reason for taking the temperature. Healthcare providers must use the correct technique when measuring temperature, because this can influence client data.
When determining the relevance of the temperature, the healthcare provider considers the client’s baseline data and the situation. Diagnostic reasoning about temperature always involves considering additional data including other vital sign measurements and subjective and objective client data.