Using a stethoscope is not easy, especially for beginners. It requires you to learn and understand the different components of the device. So, before we tell you how to use the device accurately, you need to know about the stethoscope components. Read on!
Parts of Stethoscope
There are different components or parts of the stethoscope, such as the diaphragm, bell, tubing, aural tubes, and earpieces. Let us tell you about each part.
The diaphragm is an important part of the stethoscope. It has a flat, circular shape and made of metal. The purpose of the diaphragm is to capture low-pitched sounds. A bell is a cup-shaped object and smaller than the diaphragm. You will find this object on the backside of the diaphragm. The purpose of the bell is to capture high-pitched sounds.
The stethoscope is organized medical equipment. It transmits the sounds from the bell or diaphragm through tubes. The tubing then transfers the sound waves from the earpieces through the ear tubes.
Aural tubes are short tubes located between the acoustic tubing and earpieces of the stethoscope. They are metal tubes that transmit low-frequency sounds. Earpieces are also a vital part of the device. They are soft rubber objects that help in blocking out any external noises. The earpieces are also responsible for carrying the sound from bell or diaphragm.
The basic way to use the stethoscope
If you are a medical student or often use the stethoscope to check blood pressure, then first, you need to practice it. The best way to use the device is to practice it on yourself. You can listen to your heart with this device. Simply place the diaphragm near to your heart.
The heart is the most critical organ in the body. It pumps the blood to all parts of the body via arteries and receives it back via veins. Your heart is on the left side of the breastbone. Simply put, it is between the fourth and the sixth ribs.
So, first, you need to place the diaphragm on the skin and listen to your heartbeat. You can also move it a little bit so that you can hear the loudest sounds. Several research studies have shown that a normal heartbeat produces a sound like ‘LUB-DUB’ when it contracts.
Everyone is familiar with the sound of the heartbeat. It is a common thing. When you hear a swoosh noise, it means the heart is murmuring. Typically, it occurs when the blood flows through the heart valve, which is not opening fully. If you heart any such sounds, do not worry at all.
Flip the diaphragm of the stethoscope over and use the bell to compare the sounds. Remember, when you place the device on the lungs, it won’t sound crackling or wheezing. If it does, the lung is not working correctly.
How to use a stethoscope properly
It is easy to use the stethoscope if you have enough knowledge about it. On the other hand, it is quite a daunting task when you don’t know how to use the device. However, the following tips will allow you to use the stethoscope like a medical professional. Continue reading!
First, you need to get a high-quality stethoscope. The quality of the device is vital for getting proper results. When you get quality equipment, you won’t have difficulty using it. Also, you will listen to the sounds of the heart, lung, or any other part of the patient’s body easily.
In general, we recommend using a device that comes with a single tube. Medical professionals do not recommend using the double ones. It is because they rub against each other and create noise.
So, as a result, you will have difficulty listening to the sounds. We recommend a stethoscope that comes with short and thick tubing. Make sure you a stiff tubing. On the other hand, if you often wear the device around your neck, then, you should prefer a product with a longer tube.
Before you start, you need to ensure leakage-free tubing. It is easy to check the leaking of the tube by merely tapping the diaphragm. After tapping the diaphragm, you will hear a corresponding sound. If you are unable to hear anything from the earpiece, then it means the tubing has a leakage.
Adjust the earpieces
Adjust the earpieces properly before you start using the device. Make sure they face forward. At the same time, the earpieces must fit in your ears. If you can’t adjust them, you won’t hear anything.
When you adjust or change the earpieces, it is always a better idea to choose snug-fit earpieces. They will create a good seal with your ears. The purpose is to avoid hearing the surrounding sound and focus on listening to the organ’s sound.
Position your patient
When you want to listen to the abdomen or heart of the patient, you will ask the patient to lay down into a supine position. Similarly, when you want to listen to the lungs of the patient, he or she will sit up. Keep in mind the sound from the body of your patient depends on his or her position. Make sure you try various positions and angles to capture the sounds fully.
Use Bell or Diaphragm
You can either use the diaphragm or the bell. These are two sides of the device. In general, the diaphragm is useful for hearing medium-high pitched sounds. On the other hand, if you want to hear low-pitched sounds, you can use the bell.
For excellent accuracy and detailed measurements of the sound, you can use an electronic stethoscope. It is a device that amplifies the noise coming from the body of the patient. Also, it makes things easier for you to heart the lungs and heart. Keep in mind that these devices are slightly expensive than regular ones.
A stethoscope is one of the most significant devices in the medical field. Most often, people do not go to the hospital because they use the equipment at home to check the blood pressure. We don’t recommend using the stethoscope to check the vital organs of the body except for blood pressure at home.
Make sure you maximize the acoustics of the device. It is essential to maintain a clear reception of the sound. We also recommend using an earpiece that will fit snugly in your ear. The purpose is to stop external sounds coming from the surroundings.
So, if you want to hear the sounds of the lungs or heart accurately, you need to focus on getting a quality device. It is important not to bend the tubes of the device tightly. Otherwise, you will damage them.
That’s why doctors carry them around their necks. Doctors don’t wear it around their necks as a fashion statement. Damaging the tubes means you have to buy a new device. So, you have to be careful.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.