The stethoscope is, for doctors and nurses all over the world, one of the most important tools in the medical profession. It has become a symbol of the trade, so much so that children are given toy stethoscopes to play with from a young age. Used to listen to the internal sounds of humans and animals, stethoscopes are a crucial aid in diagnosis. They can be used to listen to the heart, the lungs, as well as intestines, arteries and veins.
From the look of them, stethoscopes are fairly simple pieces of equipment. But if you're wanting to use one seriously, rather than to play doctors and nurses, how do you go about it? Whether you're using a traditional stethoscope or a modern, electric model there are things you need to know. Electric versions amplify the sounds making them easier to hear.
ZenPlugs Moulded Stethoscope Earpieces make a standard stethoscope far more comfortable, personalises it and may even improve sound perception. Click on the box below to buy a set.
In practice, anyone can use a stethoscope. Except obviously the untrained won't know what they're listening to. Here are some details on how to use a stethoscope.
How to wear a stethoscope
While it looks simple, it's important to put the ear tips in your ear and turn them to the correct angle - so that they're pointing towards your nose. This will help block out any sounds in the room. More modern stethoscopes have molded stethoscope earpieces. This means the ear pieces can be molded to the user's own ears, which can be softened and remolded as many times as is necessary. This helps to get the best possible sound, as well as external sound blockage.
How to hold a stethoscope
Hold the chestpiece, gently, between the distal part of your index and middle fingers of your dominant hand. This allows you to press against the patient without rubbing the diaphragm within the chest piece. This would create extra noise making it harder to listen out for what it is that you're actually wanting to listen to.
For best performance
To get the best possible results, stethoscopes should be placed directly against the skin. If you're in a hurry or in an emergency situation, then stethoscopes will likely work over one layer of clothing (for example a t-shirt). This does risk missing out crucial sounds. Emergency situations are a reason to have molded stethoscope earpieces from ZenPlugs. They block out external noises such as sirens. Our molded earpieces are comfortable, colourful and even antibacterial. They last far longer than standard earpieces and because they are molded to your ears they are unique to you and make your stethoscope different from everyone elses.
Stethoscopes will remain an important piece of medical equipment for many years. This is until handheld ultrasound replaces it in many settings. Stethoscopes can be used to test blood pressure, bowel sounds, heart sounds, liver span and lung sounds. It is crucial to be able to use one in the best possible way.