Interesting news for the medical practitioners who are tech geeks as well- the stethoscope is now not just limited to diagnose the heart and lungs. The stethoscope is now stethoscope, which is wireless, small and quite affordable to use. There is also a headset connected to it, but it works traditionally like a stethoscope. The 3 major things which represent a physician are ‘black bag’, ‘white coat’ and stethoscope.
Invented in France in 1816 Paris by René Laennec, the invention has proved itself to be the simplest but a necessary tool for medical examination. The time before stethoscope was discovered; the doctors used a different methodology- they used to place their ear directly on the patient’s chest. The method was called auscultation. Now stethoscope is one of the most vital tools of the doctor. You cannot see a doctor without a stethoscope.
The stethoscope works on the principle of reflection of the sound. It works simply by enhancing the body sounds and then it transmits the same sound to the ears. A usual stethoscope comes with flat and round chest piece which is covered by tightly stretched skin of plastic, known as the diaphragm. The device consists of a diaphragm and bell. If you want to listen to a high-frequency sound, use diaphragm. If you want to listen to the low pitch sound, use the bell part. For fruits and listening to the heart sounds, sounds like the cardiac exam, the doctors use the bell because these are low-frequency sounds. In clinical
practices, the usage of the diaphragm side of the stethoscope is common.
These are the best nursing stethoscopes in the market
- 3M Littmann Master Cardiology
- MDF Acoustica Deluxe
- 3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric Stethoscope
- Littmann 6152 Cardiology IV Stethoscope
Before you use the stethoscope, it is good to capture much knowledge about the functioning and part of the stethoscope, after that, it is also important to know how to wear a stethoscope
1. Buy a good quality stethoscope so that you can hear to the patient’s body clearly.
- You will find a single tube and double tube stethoscope in the market.
- Commonly it is believed that the single tube stethoscope is better than the double tube ones.
- The tubes in double tube stethoscope can rub together and the noise can create confusion
2. Adjust the stethoscope earpieces in a proper way. Both the sides of earpieces should face forward and they can easily fit well.
- If the earpieces are not adjusted properly, you will not be able to hear proper sound from the patient’s body.
- To make sure that the earpieces fit well, you can also tilt the earpieces to ensure a better fit.
3. Check how tight the earpieces are.
- The loose earpieces will hamper the way you want to listen to the patient’s body sound.
- The tight earpieces will be a big discomfort and it also might hurt your ears.
4. Arrange an appropriate chest piece for your stethoscope
- The chest pieces come in different sizes for adults and children. Wisely choose a stethoscope as per your need
5. To use a stethoscope, select a quiet place that does not have background noise.
6. Ask your patient to lie down in the supine position. To listen to the lungs, ask your patient to sit up.
- The bowel, heart and lung sound will sound different depending on the patient’s position.
7. You need to decide which part you want to use- diaphragm or the bell.
- It is recommended that to listen to high sound quality, consider an electronic stethoscope. The electronic stethoscopes are expensive too
8. Ask your patient to wear a loose gown so that the skin is bare. It is advisable to use a stethoscope at the bare skin in order to avoid the sound of fabric.
- The stethoscope should be warmer. This will make your patient more comfortable
9. Now you need to hold the diaphragm over the patient’s chest.
- It is advisable to position the diaphragm on the left upper part of the chest, the portion which is directly under the breast.
10. For a complete 60 seconds, listen to the heartbeat sound. Ask the patient to breathe and relax in a normal manner.
- The heart sounds are of two types- systolic and diastolic
11. You need to count the number of heartbeats you hear in 60 seconds. For adults and children who are over 10 years of age, you should hear 60-100 beats per minute. There is a different range of heart beats for patients who are under 10 years old.
- Observe twice if you hear heart murmurs. These are the unusual sounds which indicate heart disorders. To wear a stethoscope and listen to the heart sounds might sound like a seamless activity, but it is quite important that before you examine any patient, practice with the device in a proper manner.