Are you sure that you are using a stethoscope accurately? Or you just enjoy the murmuring noises that your stomach makes. Well, if you just keep it as a toy, there is nothing to mention. All that you just do is to store and take after it carefully so that it isn’t unattached its shape. And of course, remember to clean the earpieces frequently to prevent ear infections. However, in case that you are a healthcare professional, you need to get the best stethoscope for nurses or doctors in order to carry out an accurate diagnosis.
One of the most ordinary stethoscopes that are used most is the acoustic one. Its planned use is to seize vibrations inside the patient’s body and extend them in the form of sound waves. Look at it! The chest piece includes a flat bigger side called the diaphragm, and a smaller cup-shaped side called the bell.
Normally, the diaphragm is composed of plastic. When placing it against the skin, the internal vibrations will be transmitted through the plastic disk. And then it will create the acoustic waves that can travel through the air filled tubing and into the listener’s ears via the earpieces. The seized waves are mostly of higher frequency. How about the bell? The lower frequency sounds will be heard easily. But, if you put some pressures on the bell, it also takes the high-frequency sounds.
Well, you might all know what I’ve just mentioned above. However, there are a couple of common mistakes that newbie makes when using the stethoscope. For instance, when putting the stethoscope on the ears, ensure that they need to fit accurately. To the stethoscopes that have the ear tubes with the earpieces tilted slightly forward, please make sure that the sound follows the natural shape of your ear canal. Owing to that, it is able to reach your eardrum with ease. Besides, remember to avoid using the stethoscope over dry hair or thick clothing because they might produce a rustling sound, and you confuse with pathologic findings.
According to the stethoscope reviews, there are some devices having rotary chest pieces so that the sound might be directed towards the diaphragm or the bell; for instance, like the Littmann models. Whenever fitting the earpieces into the ears, you should tap the chest piece lightly to determine that the sound is going to be seized correctly. Keep in mind to place the chest piece between the middle and index finger to avoid external sounds.
How to listen to the heart?
Listening to the heart is one of the most important examinations. Of course, it is not about putting the chest piece on the chest. Particular sounds regarding the heartbeat can be heard in particular locations in the chest. It will relate to the place of the heart, valves, and chest cavity. Besides, some of these sounds will differ in pitch, so both the diaphragm and bell need to be used when hearing the heart.
Put the stethoscope in the correct space between the 2nd and 3rd ribs next to the sternum to hear the flow of blood going through the aortic valve. Continue moving to the left side of the sternum for the pulmonary valve and come down to the lower left sternal area for the tricuspid valve. Do not miss the mitral valve! To this one, the location of the apex of the heart needs to be previous recognized, but it is regularly found at the left 5th intercostals space approximately 6cm from the border of the sternum. Meanwhile, some love stating the heart auscultation at the apex.