rectal temp at the Dr's? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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DH and I took ds to the Dr yesterday for a check up. He had an intermittant rattle in his chest that we thought was probably allergies and he is most obviously NOT sick, but we wanted to get it checked. Our doc is a family doc (not ped), delayed/non-vax friendly, etc, etc...we like the office. Well, the medical assistant took us back, weighed him and then told my husband to turn him over on the exam table b/c she needed to get his temp and "of course it will be rectally." I spoke up and said we would not be doing a rectal temp and she argued that's the way it's done in infants under 1 and yes we would....ummm, no. She finally said well then *you* can explain to the nurse practitioner why he didn't have his temp taken (no offer to do an axillary one).

Naturally the NP never mentioned it b/c he *wasn't sick*...although I'd be *very* reluctant to agree to a rectal temp even if he was sick. I didn't say anything to the NP b/c she's brand new to the practice and we had other things to discuss with her. However, I'm an RN, I work with newborns, I know you can get an accurate enough temp under the arm. A rectal temp is invasive and unecessary IMO. I would expect this argument at the ER, but in the doctor's office?!? I guess this is mostly a rant, but I also want to know:

when you take you dc to the doc for anything other than a WBV, how do they take the temp?

any references on why rectal temps are NOT necessary...I'd like to send some literature to the office

Thanks mamas!

Jessica, CNM placenta.gif+ DH geek.gif + sweet boy (4/06) jog.gif
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#2 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 09:34 PM
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Wow, that is crazy. Don't have any literature to send. When I USED to take dd to well baby visits, they always took her temp w/ the ear kind (sick or not).

Tiffany , mama to my 2 spirited girls, natalee (8/05) and scarlett (5/09)
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#3 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 09:35 PM
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Don't have any lit, but ime, temps have always been done orally or in the armpit, and that is with drs, midwives, and nurses.

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#4 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 09:35 PM
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I wont told that recal is the ONLY way to get the temp on a baby under a year old. That anything eles would be wrong. Hmmm, then again, i have only had one doctors office take it that way, and they were kinda...:

Laura wife to Chris proud mommy to our lil monkey (c-section 6-10-06), our other lil monkey (HBAC 3-08-09) Our next and last son (due by HBAC mid July 2011) and our angel (10-03-04). My middle son has many severe food allergies.

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#5 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 09:39 PM
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Our ped clinic uses either the ear thing, or more recently some sort of magic wand that they rub on the forehead. They say it is quite accurate.

The only time I EVER used a rectal temp on my DS was when he had a temp on our ear reader of 105 and I called the nurse line to determine if I needed to take him to the ER at 3am. She suggested a more accurate reading (rectal) and close monitoring.... But for a routine visit in a non-very-ill child I can't imagine why they'd even want to go there, KWIM?
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#6 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 09:47 PM
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I've been going to the same pediatric practice since *I* was little, and they have always taken temps axillary, or now they use the forehead wand thing (which is very cool). When I took DS to one of their satellite offices for his first check, the nurse took a rectal temp and I about hit her. She was checking his weight and all that without a dipe, and I didn't realize what she was doing until she had already started. I asked her what the heck, since their main office doesn't do that, and she said "well, it's the best way and *our* office does". I complained to the doctor, and if we end up at that office again there is no way it will happen again...especially not for a well visit! Who the heck cares if his temp is a tenth of a degree different for a well visit!

The only way I will ever consent to a rectal temp is if he is sick enough that they really do need a perfectly accurate temp.

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#7 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 10:07 PM
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Augh. I had a fight with a nurse at our practice about this. I brought my daughter in to confirm thrush and they wanted to do it. They did it once at a sick visit for something else, and it was so awful I said never again. I was told that rectal was their policy for infants under 3 months. I said "how big can you write REFUSED on her chart?" In the hospital when she was born, they only took it under her arm. When she had surgery at 1 month at Children's Hospital, they checked the ear. So non-rectal is good enough for some of the best hospitals in Massachusetts, yet Nurse Ratched must poke her bum because she thrush?! : The doctor didn't care that we skipped it.
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#8 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 10:11 PM
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I take temps. under arm.
I would not allow a rectal temp.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#9 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 10:56 PM
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my doc has never taken DDs temp, but I have a few times at home and honestly I find it much easier to do a rectal temp than under the arm. We have a 5 second rectal thermometer, and DD doesn't even seem to notice when I stick it in, but trying to use the regular digital thermometer under her arm, now that was a nightmare. She was screaming because I was trying to hold her arm down for 60 seconds. So in our house, rectal thermometer equals easier at least for now. Who knew?

Mom to Morgan 4-3-06 and announcing Baby Kelsey 4-11-10
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#10 of 12 Old 09-19-2006, 11:13 PM
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It won't be happening, we haven;t been to the peds yet. Good I read this thread, I'll make sure I'll undress her myself for weighing and minimize any handling by others.
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#11 of 12 Old 09-20-2006, 12:36 AM
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I didn't even know that taking a rectal temp was a problem? I guess it's invasive, but my ds smiles and laughs every time I do it.


Mom to my little super hero superhero.gif (02/06) and our super hero-in-training femalesling.GIF (11/11).

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#12 of 12 Old 09-20-2006, 01:00 AM
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The first few visits at our ped they did it, but if I'd known then what I know now, I would never have allowed it.
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