How Does a Stethoscope Work

How Does a Stethoscope Work

To a lot of people, a stethoscope is a simple machine. We would say, no, it is not. It has many functions associated with it. It would be interesting for you to know that a stethoscope works on the principle of the refection of sound. There are multiple reflections of sound in the tube of stethoscope which makes a doctor hear the sounds of your lungs, heartbeats or any kind of disruptions associated with it.

The first stethoscope was made up of wood and looked more like a hearing aid; typically know as an ear trumpet. The bigger improvements in the technology of stethoscope came during 1851, and that was to make the device bi-aural. During the 20th-century lot of other further improvements were made which were quite significant in the development of stethoscope. Improvements like reduction in weight of the stethoscope, making the acoustic quality better, elimination of external noise to facilitate the process of auscultation were the notable achievements done by the scientists. One of the major achievements was the introduction of electronic versions of stethoscopes for the amplification of sound.

You must be curious to know how does a stethoscope amplifies sound. Once you place the stethoscope’s diaphragm on the patient’s chest, the sound which travels through the patient’s body makes the diaphragm vibrate. The diaphragm is the chest piece covered by a thin and stretched skin of plastic which vibrates when sound waves travel. These sound waves are in a specific direction. The multiple reflections of the sound create the amplification of sound. You can say that the basic principle upon which the stethoscope works is the amplification of the sound.

A doctor is able to connect and create rapport with the patient while using a stethoscope. The medical students are given a stethoscope on the first day of their medical school. Although it is quite easy to use a stethoscope, at the initial level people struggle on developing the stethoscope chest piece skills. It is recommended that whenever you use the Littman Cardiology stethoscope to monitor a patient’s health, never evaluate the patient’s health in the first reading. It is quite possible that you may need to listen to several different spaces. Before you come to any conclusion by following the diagnosis, make sure you listen thoroughly and carefully. It is recommended that in order to understand completely how these stethoscopes work, you practice with it regularly. You have got visibly a fair idea of how these stethoscopes work. It is also important to know about the stethoscopes parts and functions.

Parts of The Stethoscope

  • Ear tips

This part is usually made up of silicone or rubber material which creates a form-fitting seal. It is that part of a stethoscope which goes into the user’s ear where the doctor receives the sound that comes from the chest piece.

  • Ear tube

This part is made up of metal or steel. The ear tubes are helpful to separate sounds into the left and right channels to provide a better sound experience. A good quality ear tube will allow the doctor to diagnose the medical condition in an easy manner.

  • Headset

This portion includes the upper half of the stethoscope.

  • Stem

It is the metal or steel part which connects the stethoscope tubes to the chest piece

  • Diaphragm

It is the circular end of the chest piece which facilitates auscultation. It helps to listen to the sounds of the patient’s body.

In short, the mechanism works like this- diaphragm picks up the sound from the patient’s body by pressing the stethoscope against the patient’s chest, back or the stomach. From the diaphragm, these sound waves travel through the tube and then it passes to the doctor’s ear. This way the doctor is able to assess the body’s condition with the help of a stethoscope.

We Also Want You to Have a Look at The Best Stethoscope Brands of 2019

Stethoscope Parts and Functions

3M Littmann Master Cardiology

With the latex-free tubing, it provides error-free auscultation.

MDF Acoustica Delux

Known as the handcrafted stethoscope with silicone ear tips; it is an affordable stethoscope in the market.

3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric Stethoscope

designed for the auscultation diagnosis of the children, the chest pieces are of different sizes, lightweight and comfortable for the ear.

Littmann 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope

designed especially for the specialized and generic diagnosis, it is ideal for precise diagnosis too.

3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope

3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope is an excellently engineered stethoscope with a double-sided chest piece with an affordable price.

The invention of the stethoscope traces back to almost 200 years ago, still it is considered as the primary tool for the examination of a patient’s body. The functions and the parts of stethoscope may look simple but it is always recommended that one should practice working on it to avoid the inaccuracies during the diagnosis.

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