The stethoscope is a medical device used for the auscultation of patients. Each healthcare profession uses a stethoscope, but each profession has different needs. If you have no idea how to properly use a stethoscope, here is a complete guide.
The best Stethoscope allows you to listen to different sounds of the body (especially the heart, lungs, abdomen, and blood vessels):
- Physiological noises: normal = high frequencies
- Pathological noises: abnormal = low frequencies
Sound results from the vibration of molecules in the air, the group to form frequency curves, expressed in Hertz. The electronic stethoscope, which has met with great success, amplifies noise and makes it easier to detect many cardiovascular pathologies.
The Electronic Stethoscope:
Electronic stethoscopes offer auscultation modes similar to traditional devices, but with sound enhancement and filtration systems.
The amplification is better, the ambient noises are filtered and thus interfere less with the listening. This filter system also makes it possible to isolate specific sounds (certain heart sounds) which facilitates the therapist’s investigations.
They also have an LCD screen that displays various information. For example, heart rate. A playback speed reduction function helps break down fast sounds better. For example, cardiac cycles in pediatrics. Their shape is classic, but their use is not widespread. Their cost is higher and reserves for specialized use.
Some models also offer sound recording so that you can listen to them later. These recordings can be saved in different formats to attach to a medical record or send to a colleague for review.
How to Properly Use a Stethoscope?
The rose gold stethoscope is a medical device used by healthcare professionals to listen to the heart, bowel, and lungs. Want to know how to use this device. Follow these few steps.
Adjust the Ear Tips
The ear tips transmit sound and isolate the ear from ambient noise. To play this role well, they must be straight and suitable for your ears. They should fit well in your ears to block them and prevent the intrusion of any external sound. Otherwise, you may not hear anything like sound while using your stethoscope.
Assess the Tension of the Tips on the Stethoscope
You will not hear anything if the end caps are not tight. Your ears will hurt if they are too tight. If the tips are too tight or too loose, then they will need to be adjusted.
Press the ear tubes near the ear tips to tighten them if the ear tips are too loose. And gently pull on the ear tubes to separate them in case the tips are too tight. This step is also important, as the incorrect tension of the ear tips on the stethoscope can make it difficult for you to use.
Choose a Suitable Pavilion
Listening precision depends on the quality of the horn. Several types of horns are available and are classified in particular into two categories: the single bell which can be bell or membrane and the double bell which is simultaneously bell and membrane.
The bell horn allows listening to low-frequency sounds (for stroke diagnostics, for example) while the membrane horn allows listening to high-frequency sounds (suitable for listening to ventilatory noises). Various sizes of pavilions are available for children and adults.
Put Yourself in Optimal Auscultation Conditions:
- After adjusting the device, you must put yourself in the right conditions to auscultate the patient.
- Start by choosing a quiet place without noise.
- Put the patient in a particularly lying down position. Note that the sounds you will hear will vary depending on the patient’s position: sitting, standing, lying on their side.
- Choose the pavilion to use (membrane or bell). The diaphragm will help you hear mid to high-pitched sounds while the bell will help you hear lower-pitched sounds.
- Have the patient wear a hospital gown or pull up the clothes to see their skin. It is important to note that the stethoscope must be used on bare skins.
- Before putting the device on the patient’s skin, warm the device by rubbing it against your sleeve or use a specialized heating device.
Perform the Actual Auscultation
Put the membrane on the upper left part of the chest at the junction between the fourth and sixth ribs to hear the heart. Listen for a minute. To auscultate the lungs, the device is placed at the upper and lower lobe, on the front and back of the torso.
The patient sits up straight and breathes normally. Auscultation of bowel sounds is done on the stomach with the navel as the central point. We divide the abdomen into four listening areas and then we listen in the upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.
Some Important Tips for Using Your Stethoscope
- The examination conditions to be observed during auscultation to benefit from the best acoustic performance:
- The environment must be as quiet as possible and at a pleasant temperature
- Use a quality stethoscope for a viable diagnosis
- Make sure the stethoscope is in good condition
- Use a stethoscope with an optimal tubing length
- Use ear tips suitable for your ears
- Clean and disinfect your stethoscope regularly and in particular after each patient
Position the Lyre Correctly
Stethoscopes have a lyre designed to be worn at an anatomical angle, oriented towards the user’s ear canal. Wearing the lyre incorrectly can result in a partial and sometimes even complete reduction in acoustic performance.
Set the Listening Mode
With a dual head stethoscope, the user must rotate the chest piece to open or adjust the bell or diaphragm. The change is audible with a small “click”. If the membrane is open, the bell will be closed, preventing sounds from passing through, and vice versa.
The stethoscope is one of the extremely essential medical instruments for any type of general practitioner and specialist. If you want to learn how to properly use a stethoscope? It is essential to have a quality stethoscope to reduce diagnostic errors and therefore unsuitable treatments.