Stethoscopes are a vital part of the medical kit for a doctor or nurse. How many of us have witnessed both doctors and nurses running around with their stethoscopes hung around their necks? It has become an enduring symbol of the health profession.
As with all equipment the doctor and nurse carries, the stethoscope is at risk of passing on infection to both patients and other medical staff. This is because it provides a home for bacteria.
So just how can you prevent the risk of infection from stethoscopes? Here are 3 handy tips to avoid passing on infections via your stethoscope:
1. Buy Self-Cleaning Stethoscopes. A study carried out by the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey discovered that 1 in 3 stethoscopes tested positive for the antibacterial resistant MRSA (1). ZenPlugs Molded Stethoscope Earpieces have self-cleaning properties. They include Steritouch which has been proven to kill MRSA. It eliminates the danger of passing such a dangerous form of bacteria on to vulnerable patients and other medical staff.
2. Moulded Earpieces Help Prevent Otitis Externa. One of the occupational hazards of nurses and doctors is that they are highly susceptible to stethoscope-associated otitis externa, which is where the outer ear canal becomes irritated by badly fitted earpieces and can become infected. Moulded stethoscope earpieces which are shaped to your ear canals make stethoscopes more comfortable. They also prevent anyone else from using them as they will only fit into your ears.
3. Sharing Stethoscopes Means Sharing Infections. Stethoscopes are like pens at times, as soon as you put them down they're lost forever. Many of the nurses and doctors forums are full of gripes about missing stethoscopes and the costs of having to buy new ones. The danger with all these missing stethoscopes is that if they are used by a number of different people bacteria is also shared around.
It would make greater sense therefore to buy customisable moulded stethoscope earpieces. This makes it much harder for someone to pick them up by mistake. You will be saved from the potential of spreading infections as well as saving your hard cash.
Tips are only useful if you are prepared to follow them. Make sure you follow these simple 3 tips to make your stethoscope a comfier, cleaner and safer piece of equipment.