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Clinical thermometers are used to check the temperature of a person. One can find a few different types; though the mercury thermometer is the most common and basic option. A clinical thermometer can be bought at different prices depending on the type and brand. A digital one would cost more than the mercury one.
To check the body temperature of a person, doctors and nurses use a clinical thermometer. These can also be bought and kept at home in case one needs to use it. The mercury thermometer is the most basic kind. It has a metal 'bulb' which is placed under the tongue or inside one's armpit. As the temperature rises the mercury moves inside a thin tube with a marked temperature reading along it.
Mercury thermometers need to be vigorously swung to reset it, meaning to send the mercury back into the bulb. This can be dangerous as it could slip and break; given mercury is a toxic substance a lot of people would rather avoid them. This holds even more so for paediatricians or people with kids.
There are digital clinical thermometers which one can easily find. This displays the reading on a small LCD display. This kind has a few different designs, the first is similar in shape to the mercury thermometer and is used by being placed under the tongue or inside the armpit.
Another kind is the tympanic thermometer which is used to take temperature from a person's ear. It has a small bauble that is held gently inside the ear and uses infrared to get a reading. This kind of clinical thermometer is used if a reading closer to the brain is needed; specifically from the hypothalamus which regulates the body temperature. A tympanic thermometer has to be held in the correct position and the ear should be relatively clean or it can give a bad read.
Infrared thermometers are another sort, they take a reading from the temporal artery. This is useful as it does not require touching. These are the kind that became common in 2019 during the corona pandemic. An infrared thermometer can be pointed at your forehead to get a reading. This may also have some issues with accuracy. The accuracy is considered to be around 60-70%, but if used correctly is very specific at 97-100% in detecting fevers or hypothermia.
There are also digital thermometers that are shaped like pacifiers for babies. These are generally also called pacifier thermometers. Making it easy to get a baby's temperature as they do not sit still.
If one needs the basal temperature, there are specific thermometers for it. These have more read points, so if a regular thermometer shows 0.1 Celcius changes, a basal thermometer will show 0.05 Celcius; giving an even more detailed reading.
There are digital variants as well which have larger displays, memory and a beeping feature to let you know if it is correctly placed.
As with most things digital the readings can be inaccurate. This is why it should be calibrated regularly, to keep it in optimum running condition.
If a more accurate reading is needed, medical professionals will still rely on mercury thermometers as the digital versions are not yet advanced enough to be as accurate every time.
Clinical thermometers have a lot of varied prices, the mercury thermometer is a very affordable option. The digital thermometers vary in prices, depending on the brand and specific type the price can be from the mid to high range.