How Do You Use A Stethoscope Properly?

A stethoscope is an incredibly useful medical tool. It can help you make a diagnosis, hear what’s going on in a person’s body and make your job as a healthcare practitioner much easier.

If you’re just starting out with a stethoscope, here are a few tips you should follow.

Invest in a good stethoscope

The better your stethoscope, the easier your job will be. Low-quality stethoscope have acoustic quality issues and can interfere with your ability to make a diagnosis. The best stethoscopes will make your job much easier.

Double tube stethoscopes can rub together and cause additional noise. It’s recommended you look for a quality single tubed stethoscope to use.
Make sure the tubing on your stethoscope is free from any cracks or holes. You can tap on the diaphragm with the ear tips in to see if any noise is escaping from your stethoscope. Holes in the tubing will make your job much harder, especially in noisy areas.

Tips for using stethoscopes

Adjust the ear tips to fit you personally

The ear tips on your stethoscope should fit comfortably and create a seal from outside noises. If the ear tips on the stethoscope you bought don’t fit properly, you can always remove them and buy some new ear tips instead of investing in a whole new stethoscope.

Every week or two you should remove the ear tips and give the whole section a clean. Direct and debris can impair your ability to hear different noises.

The ear tips on your stethoscope should also be adjusted to fit your ears comfortably. If the ear tips are too tight, you’ll have problems hearing things. If they are too loose, then you ‘ll get a lot of noise pollution from your environment. Play around with how the ear tips fit in your ears to find a perfect fit.

Keep a gentle grip

Most stethoscopes have a tunable diaphragm. This means light pressure allows you to hear high-frequency sounds and applying pressure lets you hear low pitch sounds. You don’t need much pressure to activate a tunable diaphragm.

The best way to take advantage of this feature is by holding the diaphragm in between your index and middle finger. When you hold the diaphragm with your fingertips around the edge, it creates extra noise and interference. The index and middle finger grip is ideal for applying a gentle and adjustable touch. You can get more info on stethoscope basics here

What else can you do with a Stethoscope?
Stethoscopes aren’t just limited to listening to heartbeats you can also…
· Measure how large a person’s liver is
· Use it as an impromptu hearing aid for those hard of hearing
· Assess different bowel sounds
· Detect instances of bruits
· Evaluate heart sounds
· Gage lung sounds
· Measure blood pressure