Monday, June 26, 2017

How to use your stethoscope

Do you know how to properly use your favorite stethoscope?
Let's review the basics...

A stethoscope is a tool used to listen to the internal sounds of your patient.  
In the medical field, a stethoscope is typically used to listen to the 
sounds of the heart or lungs.

Stethoscopes are a tool used by entry level through expert level medical staff.  Just because they've been around since the early 1800s doesn't mean they are being used the right way.

Let's review a few basic steps...

  1. Always start and end your stethoscope use by cleaning the eartips and diaphragm with alcohol pads.
  2. Prior to inserting the eartips into your ears make sure they are pointing away from your ears.
  3. Use eartips that best fit your ear opening.  Make sure there is a good seal keeping external noises out.
  4. Make sure the diaphragm of the stethoscope is open.  Nothing more embarrassing then trying to asses a B/P and realizing your stethoscope diaphragm is closed :(  
  5. Provide an airtight seal around the bell/diaphragm of the stethoscope using your fingers and not your thumb.  The picture below shows the fingers on top of the bell/diaphragm... I would rather see the fingertips on either side of the bell/diaphragm.
  6. Take your time and listen.....

There are a wide variety of brands and prices too.
My favorite happens to be Littmann brand.... 
What about you?

A few affiliate linked options are listed below

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