1. Artz, Brenda A. MS, RN, CCRN
  2. March, Karen S. PhD, RN, CCRN, ACNS-BC
  3. Grim, Rodney MA
  4. Seben, Sheree MS, RN, CCRN

Article Content


The purpose of this study was to determine which method of temperature measurement (temporal artery or oral electronic) most closely approximates pulmonary artery (PA) core temperature in normothermic postoperative CABG patients.



Within a 558-bed community-based teaching hospital, temperature assessment has routinely occurred via several modalities. Over time, some postoperative patients were found to be hypothermic upon first temperature assessment on an acute care unit. Further investigation was warranted when a few patients experienced negative side effects. Review of documentation revealed a lack of consistency in modalities used to assess temperature. PACU used temporal artery thermometers, while acute care units used oral electronic thermometers. Following a literature review, which revealed no studies that compared temporal artery and oral electronic temperatures to core temperature, a research study was recommended.



A descriptive comparative study is underway in which temporal artery, oral electronic, and PA core temperatures will be assessed in postoperative normothermic CABG patients. Data analysis will include descriptive statistics and correlation.



Staff nurses will document temperatures obtained on each patient via temporal artery and oral electronic thermometers and a PA catheter. The 3 temperature readings will be systematically recorded once every hour for 4 hours. The order in which temperatures are recorded will be determined individually based upon random selection, by the nurse, of 1 of 6 variations of the data collection tool.



This is an IRB-approved study. Data collection should be completed by the beginning of November. Data analysis will be completed prior to the conference.



Results of this study will begin to answer questions about discrepancies between temporal artery and oral electronic temperatures by revealing information about the accuracy of each when compared to the gold standard PA core temperature.


Implications for Practice:

If one method consistently compares more favorably to the core measurement than the other, it is likely to result in modification of the practice of postoperative temperature assessment and improvement in patient care outcomes.


Section Description

The 2010 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) Annual National Conference is planned for Portland, Oregon, on March 3 to 6. More than 375 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are expected to attend. This year's theme, "CNS as Internal Consultant: Influencing Local to Global Systems," demonstrates the breadth and depth of CNS practice and leadership at multiple levels in organizations and on healthcare.


A total of 142 abstracts were submitted for review, and 58 (not including student posters) were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session; student abstracts will appear in a later issue of the journal. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in all 3 practice domains as described in the Spheres of Influence Framework for CNS Practice. Abstracts emphasized patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, CNS education, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into the 3 Spheres of Influence, the role of the CNS in developing clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, the role of the CNS in National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) activities, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNS's contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities, as well as contributing to the advancement of the nursing profession.


The conference abstracts are published to share new knowledge with those unable to attend the conference. As you read each abstract, appreciate the intellectual talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to the health of society through improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. We encourage you to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your thoughts and ideas on the conference topics.


Watch for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at the next NACNS annual conference scheduled for March 9-12, 2011, in Baltimore, Maryland.