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TIP AND TRICKS
TIP AND TRICKS
A stethoscope is a recognized symbol in medicine. Worn around the neck of a doctor or a nurse, its primary use is to listen to body sounds. Designed to listen to heart and lung sounds, a scope can also be utilized by a medical professional to listen to bowels and blood flow.
But this medical tool can easily be misplaced by the owner or interchanged with others. Thankfully, you can buy this tool that comes with a stethoscope ID tag- stethoscope name tag. In addition to it being able to help you identify your own steth, the name tag is customizable in a way that you can design it to truly fit your identity.
From security to labeling your own scope, having a name tag provides a myriad of advantages. Besides the obvious, the badge can have a positive impact on your patient care. It builds doctor’s identity when you add your full name to it. While the steth, is restricted to be used within the hospital setup, you can wear it during lunches or break times. Your name gets advertised to outside of your department.
When you work in a large hospital, it can be difficult for other employees to remember your name. This is especially true if you’re a new doctor or a nurse. It allows health professionals working in different departments to build a sense of team building faster. Because the owner’s name is on the tag, it can easily provide a form of accountability to employees. That is, if you behave rudely to another hospital staff member, your name is out there for all people to see.
When you’re in a hospital, you’re all required to wear a uniform. If you have a 3M tag, for example, you can be quickly identified that you belong in the department. Generally, an ID tag can easily keep outsiders away from the hospital or your department. It’s particularly valuable in the hospital that takes care of high-profile individuals.
When you wear a stethoscope with ID tag and badge reel, you can be easily identified by your patients. The name tag provides accountability as patients will know exactly who they’re dealing with from the first time they make contact with the healthcare professionals. With beaded tags, you’re providing your patient an additional comfort because he/she knows the most important thing about you before you begin to taking care of him/her.
ID tag blanks aren’t as common as they were before. But they do offer a significant place in the hospital today. If you’re looking for an easy way to kick your service to another level, try adding tags to your steth. You’ll be surprised at how easy your patients can relate to you as you’re properly identified.
Nowadays, it’s easier to buy a steth with ID tag. In cases where this equipment needs to be shared or in departments where it must be deposited to be used by others who are on active shift, personalization can still be achieved by having a cute tag.
You can easily purchase a name tag. It serves as a personalization or a decoration on your neck. Tags can be categorized based on where they’re placed in the actual tool.
A cherokee tag, for example, can be added to the neck area of the tool. It’s a junction area where the earpieces are connected to the tube. This area doesn’t only reinforce the structure of the tool but it also serves as an ideal focal point for any type of patient to recognize.
You can also purchase a crystal tag that’s attached to the tub itself. Although it dangles around a little more, the movement will keep a toddler calm while you’re listening to his/her heartbeat. A custom tag has a different means to latch on without causing any type of unnecessary pinching to the tube. In this case, it prevents sounds from being misinterpreted.
There are other forms of ID tags that you can purchase online. You can have an engraved ID tag for stethoscope or fancy ID tag. If you’re fond of using Littmann, you can choose to add Littmann tag grey to your collection. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of , then a Hello Kitty stethoscope name tag is an ideal choice.
Whether you’re purchasing a LSU stethoscope ID tag or a ID tag leopard, you can request the reseller to engrave your name on it before mailing it to you.
On the other hand, if the online reseller doesn’t provide free engraving on your ID tag, you can find several websites that offer engraving. If you need the tag to be personalized, you should communicate effectively with that you’re expecting to receive in your mail. The service provider who will make customization to your tag needs specific details of what information you wish to be placed on the tag.
Once the ID tag is done, you can never remove or edit it. That said, it’s important that you only make business with a competent or an experienced provider to give you the right name or information on the tag.
When choosing an establishment to perform the engraving, you should make sure that the company has a return policy. In this way, if you’re not satisfied with the job, you can ask for a refund.
Having a personalized name tag on your stethoscope can help you bring your game to the hospital where you work for. Adding some customization to your stethoscope can be a privilege. The use of ID tag is usually encouraged in the hospital or clinics because patients can easily identify the healthcare professionals who are taking care of them.
That said, you should never underestimate the benefits of having a name tag on your stethoscope. It doesn’t matter where to put the tag or what brand you’re using or what color you wish to have. The benefits of having one are immense.
We all love to listen to our heart. But how can we listen to the heart of our unborn child? Expectant moms are quite anxious to hear their baby’s sounds. With a stethoscope you can, under certain conditions. Isn’t it wonderful? Hearing the thumping heartbeat of the fetal baby can give parents to be an assurance that the baby is growing as he or she should be. It also provides information to the doctor or gynaecologist about the baby’s health.
You can hear the unborn child’s heartbeat with a number of methods such as stethoscope, fetal Doppler, pinard horn, fetoscope, obstetrics ultrasound and currently even through Apps. Doppler is quite expensive. Generally, you are able to listen to the baby’s heartbeat when you are almost 8 weeks pregnant using an obstetrics ultrasound. Else, you are able to listen to the baby’s heartbeat in the region of 10 weeks to 12 weeks using a fetal Doppler by visiting a pre-Natal care hub. Currently, we are concerned about how to listen to the baby heartbeat at home.
But how can you hear baby heartbeat with stethoscope? Yes, you can. But how early can you be hearing baby with stethoscope? How many weeks? In this article, we shall discuss on how to hear the baby heartbeat at home using a stethoscope. A basic stethoscope is the simplest method to hear the fetal heartbeat at home. When you are about 18 and 20 weeks pregnant, the fetal heartbeat will be strong enough to be audible. Please buy a quality stethoscope from a reputable vendor. A good quality stethoscope can be bought at good local drugstore or sometimes also from stores selling office supplies. You may even borrow from a family member or friend, if they have. It is relatively cheap and easy to buy.
In case you have any queries or worries about your baby’s heartbeat, please contact your doctor.
Lie down on your back in a quiet room. If there is background sound, it will be difficult to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
Caress your stomach and attempt to find your baby’s back. This will sense similar to a smooth hard area. This is the topmost location to detect a fetal heartbeat.
Put the ear tips of the stethoscope in your ears and the chest piece along your baby’s back.
Hear with full awareness for a few minutes. If you do not perceive sound of the baby’s heartbeat, move the stethoscope up or down on the baby’s back. You may accidently even sense up your own heartbeat. Simply put the stethoscope on your stomach and listen. Patiently move it around a bit to find the heartbeat. Can you hear baby heartbeat with stethoscope? Position the stethoscope as near to the heart as possible. You might even have to position it firmly into your belly to obtain superior contact with the baby.
Do not be anxious if you do not perceive sound of the baby’s heartbeat immediately. Your baby’s heartbeat is influenced by a number of factors such as the foetus position, your placenta’s position, your weight and the accuracy with which the conception date was determined. It becomes quite difficult or impossible if your baby is placed posterior. The baby’s heartbeat will not often possess the clear thumping sound of your own heart. It is quite softer and more similar to the feeling in your eardrums and not very audible. If the room is very quiet and you focus carefully, you may perceive the sound. All stethoscopes are not equal – some perceive sound better than others. That is the reason to buy a good quality stethoscope.
Baby’s heartbeat sounds like a lot of galloping horses. The heart rate of a baby can vary in the range from 120 to 160 beats per minute in the womb. When you listen to it for the very first time, it can be a beautiful experience. In case the heart rate is slower or faster than the range of 120 upto 160bpm, it may imply a problem and one should contact the physician.
Here are the major developments happening to the baby at specific time intervals:
At 6 weeks – the baby appears like a small tadpole with a large bulge where the heart is and a bump at the head end of the neural tube. The heart can at times beat on a scan of vaginal ultrasound at this stage.
At 7 weeks – the embryo has grown to about 10mm long from head to bottom. The brain is growing rapidly. The embryo has a large forehead, and the eyes and ears continue to develop. The limb buds start to form cartilage, which will develop into the bones of the legs and arms.
At 8 weeks – the baby is also known as foetus, which means ‘offspring’. Its legs are growing longer and also forming cartilage.
At 9 weeks – the baby grow around 22mm in length. The face is forming gradually with bigger and visible eyes with some colour. There is a mouth and tongue, with tiny taste buds. The major internal organs such as the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys and gut continue developing.
At 10 weeks – The heart is now fully-formed. It beats 180 times a minute – that’s twice upto thrice as fast as your own heartbeat. The baby is making small, jerky movements which can be seen on an ultrasound scan. The ears and jawbones with milk teeth form.
At 11 weeks – The face bones are forming. The eyelids are closed, and will not open until next few months yet. The ear buds begin to look like ears.
At 12 weeks – the foetus is fully formed. All the bones, limbs, muscles, and organs are well in place, and the sex organs are well developed.
At 14 weeks – At 14 weeks, the baby is about 85mm long from head to bottom. The baby starts to swallow small amounts of amniotic fluid, which go through the stomach. The kidneys begin to work and the swallowed fluid passes back into the amniotic fluid as urine.
At 15 weeks – your baby begins to hear. The eyes begin to get sensitive to light.
At 16 weeks – The muscles of the baby’s face is capable of moving and it can make facial expressions. The nervous system keeps on developing, and in effect allows the muscles in the baby’s limbs to flex.
At 18 weeks – your baby is growing quickly, and now weighs around 150g. The body enlarges and the body and head become proportionally sized. The lines on the skin of the fingers are created and the baby therefore possesses her or his own personal fingerprints. The baby moves around quite a bit, and may react to loud noises from the exterior like music.
At 20 weeks – your baby’s skin is covered with a greasy whitish looking substance also known as the vernix. It is thought that this helps to protect the skin during the many weeks in the amniotic fluid.
At 21 weeks to 22 weeks – At 22 weeks, your baby weighs around 350g. Your baby starts to into sleep and waking up patterns. Your baby is practising breathing movements to prepare for life outside the uterus. Your baby gets its entire oxygen from you through the placenta, and henceforth will continue to do so until it is born.
Video Guide: “Listening to the baby’s heart beat”
In case you do not detect the baby’s heartbeat, it could be due to a number of reasons. Most the reasons are not a cause for alarm. However, do practice care specifically as per your case.
The very first time, you listen to your baby’s heartbeat, it is a remarkable and astounding moment. Hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time boosts your bonding with your baby. Using a stethoscope, you can. However, please ensure that the stethoscope is of good quality.
Cardiac arrhythmia is a term that refers to a change in the normal sequence of electric impulses. These impulses can cause the heart to beat faster or slower. If the heart will not beat properly, this will result in ineffective pumping of blood.
When the heart cannot pump blood effectively and efficiently, your lungs, brain and your other organ cannot perform their functions well. This will result in them shutting down or getting damaged.
Normally, your heart is a strong muscle that can pump blood continuously throughout your circulatory system. Your heart beats 100,000 times per day on average. It also pumps 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
With this in mind, in a 70-year lifetime, a human heart can beat more than 2.5 billion times.
As mentioned earlier, cardiac arrhythmia is a term used to describe abnormal beating of the hearts. There are times that this condition is harmless. However, for some, it can be life-threatening.
Some cardiac arrhythmias are brief enough that they will not cause the overall circulation. But if they would last longer, they could cause your heart rate to slow down or to beat faster. In return, your heart pumps blood less effectively.
When your heart rate is faster than normal, it is called tachycardia. In this situation, your heart beats more than 100 beats a minute.
On the other hand, if your heart beats slower than 60, a minute, then it is called bradycardia.
There are many things that can cause cardiac arrhythmia. Scarring of heart tissue, cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, stress, and drug abuse are just a few of the most common causes of this condition.
Certain factors can increase your risk of developing this condition. Any type of heart disease can cause any kind of arrhythmia. Having thyroid problems may also increase your chances of experiencing this condition.
Caffeine is also another factor that can cause your heart to beat faster. For some, it may develop into a more serious form of arrhythmia.
There is a broad range of symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia. It can go from barely perceptible to a cardiovascular collapse. It can even cause death.
Palpitation or skipped beat is one of the most common symptoms of this condition. If the premature beats would occur often, they could cause you to become aware of it. The fluttering sensation can even be felt in the chest or neck.
If the abnormal heart beat last long enough, it can affect how your heart works. The more serious symptoms will develop, including fatigue, dizziness, chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and chest pain.
In extreme cases, your heart will collapse or cause a sudden cardiac arrest.
Doctors recommend learning how to monitor your pulse. This is especially true if you have an artificial pacemaker. In monitoring your pulse, you should put your second and third fingers of your one hand on the inside of your wrist of the other hand. Feel the pulse and count the number of beats for every minute. Then, keep a record of it.
There are several tests that can properly diagnose a cardiac arrhythmia. One of them is ECG or EKG (Electrocardioradiography). It’s a standard tool used by doctors to diagnose arrhythmias as it can record relative timing of the electrical events in your heart.
It is used to measure how long an impulse takes to travel through the atria and ventricles. But because of the fleeting nature of this condition, you may have a normal ECG even if you are complaining of irregular heartbeats.
The reason for this is that ECG is passive. This means that it can only record arrhythmia if it occurs.
As stated above, most arrhythmias are harmless. They will not cause any harm, even if they are left untreated. However, if your doctor finds out that you have indeed this condition, he/she must need to know if it is abnormal or reflects the normal processes of your heart.
Now, if your arrhythmia turns out to be abnormal, your physician will immediately set up a treatment plan. The goal of any treatment plan for this condition is to prevent the formation of blood clots. This is to reduce your risk of suffering from a stroke.
More Information: Best stethoscope for nurses
Treatment will also help in controlling your heart rate within a normal range and restore your normal heart rhythm. It also aims to treat the heart disease that has been causing your arrhythmias. Then, your treatment will also reduce your risk factors for suffering from a heart disease.
One of the most common treatments for this condition is the intake of medicine. The most popular medicines for this condition will include amiodarone, bepridil and disopyramide.
Ablation is also performed to treat rapid heart beating. It’s a non-surgical procedure with a success rate of 90 percent. With this in mind, you can easily go back to your normal activities after a few days.
Other treatment options will include defibrillation and some devices.
When managing your cardiac arrhythmias, it is a must that you avoid certain substances that can cause irregular heartbeat. These will include caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and cold/cough medicines.
Appetite suppressants must also be avoided, along with psychotropic drugs and beta-blockers for hypertension. Street drugs should be avoided. These will include marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines.
Although most arrhythmias are harmless, they can still increase your risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest. To manage your condition, you should learn how to reduce your high blood pressure, control your cholesterol levels and lose extra weight. It is also essential that you eat a healthy diet that is friendly to your heart.
As mentioned earlier, tobacco smoking should be avoided as it can only worsen your condition.
Getting regular physical activity is also a must to manage your condition.
Cardiac arrhythmias are fairly common. They are harmless at times. But they can also be life-threatening. For that reason, it is a must that you consult your doctor about it. Your situation may be a lot worse than you think.
This is a type of lung disease. It is the result of scarring or fibrosis of the lungs. As regards to its reason of scarring, scientists are still uncovering it.
When the scarring gets worst, it becomes harder for you to take a deep breath. And when deep breathing becomes difficult, your lungs can no longer take sufficient oxygen, making it more difficult for you to breathe.
IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) is a type of interstitial lung disease. It involves the tissue and the space around the lungs’ air sacs or commonly known as interstitium. It does not directly affect the blood vessels or the airways.
There are different kinds of interstitial lung disease and IPF is one of them. Each kind is treated differently. For that reason, patients are encouraged to consult a medical doctor to determine whether or not they have an IPF or another type of interstitial lung disease.
Unfortunately, up to now, the root cause of this disease is not yet fully understood.
There are several medical studies that have been conducted, but nothing could help in determining the real cause of this condition and why some people are suffering from it.
Because its nature is not completely understood, the term “idiopathic” is added to the pulmonary fibrosis.
Despite the fact that the real cause of this disease is not known yet, there are common risk factors. One of them is genetics.
Studies showed that up to 20% of people with this condition have a family member who is also suffering from it.
If there is more than one member of your family who has this condition, it is called familial pulmonary fibrosis.
Everyone knows how dangerous smoking is to the lungs. The majority of the sufferers have previously smoked or are currently smoking.
That said, if you have the habit of cigarette smoking, you might want to consider avoiding or quitting now.
Most of the sufferers of this disease also have this condition. In fact, it is considered as one of the symptoms.
Almost 75 percent of patients with this condition are males. And the majority of them are over 50 years old.
There are several symptoms of IPF, but the two most common causes are breathlessness and chronic cough.
This usually occurs during exercise. It can greatly affect your day-to-day activities, like getting dressed and eating.
And when your symptoms are not treated immediately, the scarring could get worse causing you to avoid all activities that could make it difficult for you to breathe.
The majority of sufferers have a chronic cough that could last longer than two months or eight weeks. Most of the time, the cough is dry. However, there are patients who reported that their cough involves sputum or phlegm.
Besides a chronic cough and dyspnea, other symptoms of IPF will include chest pain, unexplained weight loss, loss of energy, changes in the shape of your fingers, and loss of appetite.
Apart from the fact that its real cause is not known yet, it is also difficult for it to diagnose. The reason for this is that its common symptoms are almost the same as other lung diseases. Even if you undergo an x-ray, the result may still point to another lung disease.
That said, it is necessary that you consult more than one specialist. You must see a respirologist or pulmonologist to help in diagnosing your condition.
There is no single test that can conclude that you have this condition. However, there are common tests that your doctor will prescribe to help him/her in properly diagnosing your disease.
Among the many medical tests to diagnose IPF will include PFT or breathing test, chest x-ray, blood tests, six-minute walk test, CT scan, and bronchoscopy. And if you have an unclear diagnosis, your doctor may perform a surgical lung biopsy. To do this, you will have to be under general anesthetic.
IPF is truly a complicated condition. Apart from the fact that it is difficult to diagnose and its real cause is not yet fully understood, this condition has no cure yet. That said, there are no medicines or medical procedures that can actually remove the scarring in your lungs.
The treatments that your doctor may prescribe will only slow down the progression of the scarring. They may or may not reduce the symptoms. Some medicines are prescribed, too. However, some patients cannot take them because of their severe side effects.
There are also medicines that can improve the other symptoms of IPF, such as the acid reflux. In this symptom, the doctor will prescribe an anti-acid therapy. For your shortness of breath, your doctor may recommend opioids, which are categorized as morphine.
Other treatments may include pulmonary rehab, oxygen and lung transplant.
This complicated disease is irreversible and it is progressive. For that reason, it is essential that you start making a lifestyle change.
How to get started? Simple. You must quit smoking. This may not cure your condition, but it will slow down its progression. Then, it is necessary that you get a flu shot every year. Your doctor may also recommend having a pneumonia shot per year.
It is also a must that you stay as fit and healthy as possible. And never interact with patients suffering from colds and chest infections. Your condition may get worse.
This is common amongst smokers. It is a type of exercise designed for patients diagnosed with a lung disease. With this exercise, you can learn how to breathe more efficiently. In this way, you can carry out your daily activities with less breathlessness.
In terms of a lung transplant, it is not right for everyone, unfortunately. But for some people, it is the ideal treatment choice.
A stethoscope is a symbol of physicians, nurses and physician assistants. Everyone knows the basics of it. You just need to put the ear tips in your ears and diaphragm/bell on a sick person/patient before listening.
But a stethoscope can do more than that.
Getting more comfortable in using your stethoscope will make you a better doctor, nurse, student or clinician.
You might be playing with it a little bit as you get to know it. Now, it is time for you to get down to your business.
How should you use this thing?
First, let us learn how to properly wear it.
Insert the ear pieces to your ears. Make sure that the tips are pointing forward, which must be toward the bridge of your nose.
This is to ensure that the tips will fill your ear canal. It will allow you to hear uninterrupted sound pathway. This will also prevent or block surrounding noise.
What happens if you position the ear tips backwards?
The ear piece will be resting against your Cymba cavity, which will cause an obstruction in the transmission of sound while you are using it.
When the ear tips are in your ears, make sure that they fit snugly. They must also be comfortable to wear.
Before you place the ear tips of your stethoscope, hold its headset first. Place it in front of you. The ear tubes must be pointing away.
Read more: Stethoscope Reviews 2016
If your stethoscope has a dual-head chest piece, you need to select one side and deselect the other side. Some stethoscopes have an indicator dot, allowing you to know which side is in action and which one is deactivated.
Now, if the unit does not have a dot, you can simply tap the chest piece on one side and then the other. This will also let you know which side is active and can be used.
The diaphragm is used to listen to high-frequency sounds. When you need to use it, you have to apply enough pressure. As you apply optimum pressure, the sound will become louder and clearer.
The bell is ideal for low-frequency sound. To use it, you need to apply just enough pressure. Do not overdo it as you will not hear anything.
It is important to practice using the bell and diaphragm until you get comfortable with it. You should use the stethoscope with care. Make sure that you are not twisting its tubing or headset. This will only dislodge the ear tips from a proper seal. You must also prevent not to kink the tubing as it will obstruct the sound.
Holding the chest piece is also essential. The best way to hold it is to place it between the distal part of your middle finger and index fingers. It is usually held by your dominant hand. This type of grip will avoid creating extra noise. It will also let you press the piece against your patient’s skin without your fingers rubbing the piece, which will create disturbance in properly hearing body sounds.
When touching the patient’s skin, you must only apply a gentle touch.
When you are still learning on how to use a stethoscope, you must make it a habit of placing the piece against your patient’s skin. This is to hear the best sound transmission.
Some trained healthcare professionals may place the piece over a layer of clothing, like a t-shirt. This is usually done when they are in a hurry. However, this is not advisable as you may miss sounds that are crucial in the proper diagnosis of your patient.
When listening to heart sounds, you should listen to the four primary areas:
When listening to heart sounds, you will be assessing the rate, rhythm and type of heart sound. You must also try to listen to murmurs, gallops and clicks, which are known as adventitious sounds.
Heart sounds may sound the same the first time you try to listen to them. However, as you hone your skills, you can easily differentiate heart sounds.
On the other hand, if you are listening to lung sounds, you must start above the patient’s clavicle. Then, make sure that you ask the patient to lean forward to expose the triangle of auscultation.
A stethoscope can also be used to detect bruit, which is an abnormal sound of blood indicating narrowing of arteries. This is usually heard in patients with arteriosclerosis. This can be detected in the neck, kidneys, iliac, femoral arteries and umbilicus.
You must make sure that your stethoscope has the right ear tip size. If not, you will not appreciate its acoustic performance.
When getting soft-sealing ear tips, make sure that they fit snugly into your ear canals. Remember that ear tips can be small and large. Opt for the one that will fit tightly and comfortably in your ear canals.
When using your stethoscope, make sure that there are no obstructions while trying to listen to body sounds. Else, you will fail to hear crucial sounds.
Avoid putting your stethoscope in your pocket as it may accumulate dirt or lint. This can obstruct sound pathway. If you cannot avoid placing your device in your pocket, make sure that you are conducting a routine cleaning.
Stethoscopes have an airtight seal to transmit proper body sounds of the patient to the user’s ears. If the seal or tubing is loose or cracked, transmission of body sounds will fail so you will not be able to hear body sounds of your patient.
In addition to learning how to use a stethoscope, it is also important to know the proper way to carry it when it is not in use. Most clinicians or healthcare professionals carry it by wrapping the stethoscope around their neck.
Avoid it as much as you can. If you need to wrap it around your neck, make sure that it is over your shirt’s collar. This is to avoid the tubing to come in direct contact with your skin’s oils. The oil of your skin will cause the stethoscope’s tube to harden.
You must also check its chest piece and ear piece regularly. Most of them will tend to lose their fittings as they are constantly rubbed against your clothing. They may even fall off as the device gets older.
This is with the use of the stethoscope’s diaphragm. It is a part of the device that vibrates. When it vibrates, a column of air inside the device will travel from up and down so you can hear the body sound.
The diaphragm’s surface area is greater than the column of air moving within the tube. With that said, the air traveling in the tube should travel more than the diaphragm. It causes magnification of pressure waves leaving your ear tip. The larger pressure waves will make louder sounds causing the sounds to be amplified.
A high-end stethoscope utilizes a noise reduction technology that perfectly reduces extra noise from surrounding. With this type of technology, you can easily detect critical sounds while avoiding hearing noise outside. You can hear gallops, murmurs, abnormal lung and heart sounds. All the sounds that you need to hear can be heard with the use of the device equipped with this type of technology. This is especially useful if you are working in a noisy environment.
The great thing about it is that you can easily intensify the sound. This is especially great if you are trying to hear faint sounds.
But even if you do not have a stethoscope with such technology, you can still hear critical body sounds by constant practice. Doctors and nurses need to hone their auscultation skills to properly diagnose their patients. Although auscultation or listening to body sounds is just a part of the diagnosis process, you must still get it correctly so you can give accurate diagnosis.
The tips and steps mentioned above on how to use a stethoscope are necessary to help you properly hear body sounds that are crucial in the diagnosis of your patients. It does not matter what brand of stethoscope you are using, as long as it is made of high quality materials, it can still help in auscultation.
Nevertheless, it is still worth to invest in a high-quality stethoscope. This is especially true if you are working in the cardiology department or emergency cases.
When optimizing acoustic performance of your stethoscope, you need to make sure that the headset is properly aligned. The ear tips must fit snugly in your ear canals but they must be comfortable, too. Before using this device, make sure that you check for obstructions. Clean it regularly as dirt can disrupt sound transmission. With proper care and maintenance, you can easily hear body sounds and your stethoscope can last for a very long time.
Stethoscope, per se, is a widely recognized medical instrument that is worn around the necks of doctors.
Listening to the patient’s lungs through a stethoscope can be difficult and challenging, even if you are in the best circumstances.
But, with frequent practice, you can sharpen your hearing ability to perfectly listen to the lungs’ sounds.
Here are some suggestions on how to perfectly hear those sounds when using a stethoscope.
Before you place the device to your patient’s chest, you must make sure that the environment is quiet.
You should explain to your patient what you have to do. Your patient must be comfortable with the procedure before you even begin to auscultate.
To better listen to the lung sounds, it is best to use a stethoscope that comes with a bell and a diaphragm.
Now, if you are using an electronic device, it will be a lot easier as you can easily alternate the modes by simply pressing a button.
Why do you need a stethoscope with bell and diaphragm?
This is to properly hear either low-pitched sound or high-pitched sound. The bell will let you hear the former and the diaphragm for the latter.
Then, the stethoscope must fit snugly to your ears. It must be aligned with your ear canals’ angles.
Read More: Best Stethoscope For Nurses
There are many factors that may disrupt you from properly listening to your patient’s lung sounds. One of them is the transmission of extra noise.
Thus, before you begin, you should remove any item that may be hanging on your stethoscope. Do not hang tape, tourniquet or badge on this medical device.
Then, start exposing your patient’s chest before placing the device’s head. This is a must so that the stethoscope will be placed directly on the skin and not through the gown of the patient.
Its tubing must be extended across your patient’s chest when you stand at your patient’s right side.
When the device is on top of your patient’s chest, make sure that the device’s tubing does not touch your patient’s chest. It must not be resting on the side rail or sheets as it may cause extraneous noise disrupting your ability to properly listen to you his/her lung sounds.
When learning how to use this device, you should start at the back.
Make sure that your patient is sitting up and leaning forward. This position will bring his/her scapula up allowing you to better listen to his/her lungs.
In the event that your patient cannot sit up, you should turn him/her from side to side so you could listen to his/her posterior lungs.
Then, place the stethoscope’s diaphragm on the skin of your patient. Auscultate in his/her intercostals spaces by applying firm pressure.
Do not listen over the bone as you will not get anything. Start at the top and move down to the back.
Before you move next to the intercostals space, make sure that you listen on both sides of your patient’s spine.
Listen to both sides of his/her chest to his/her mid-axillary line. This is to assess all lung fields and be able to diagnose properly.
When you are trying to listen to lungs sounds, especially the tracheal breath sounds, you should hear it around the neck over the trachea. The sounds are quite louder and higher in pitch, compared with the vesicular sounds.
Bronchial sounds, on the other hand, are coarse. They are also high-pitched that can be easily heard over the trachea. This type of breath sound is abnormal, which is a common sound that can be heard when the patient has pneumonia.
When you are listening to your patient’s lung sounds through a stethoscope, you must always start above the clavicle. While listening to the lungs at the back, make sure that your patient is slightly leaning forward. This is to expose his/her triangle of auscultation.
You should listen to the six-paired anterior areas on the patient’s chest. Then, another on the seven-paired posterior areas found on the back.
Before you move down to the next level, you have to make sure that you have made a side-by-side comparison. The differences will be more apparent and you can make a better diagnosis.
The more you practice on how to use a stethoscope to listen to lungs, the easier it will be for you to identify what the lungs sounds signify or suggest. Bear in mind that by simply listening to breath sounds can detect abnormalities that may save patient’s life. Thus, it is a must that you know how to properly auscultate.
Unfortunately, auscultation can still pose a challenge to some medical professionals. Even if you are an experienced medical doctor or nurse, you may still miss something that could have helped in assessing the patient’s condition.
One of the factors that may affect your ability to properly listen to your patients’ lung sounds is their size and weight. Bear in mind that fats in their bodies may affect the transmission of sound, thereby, decreasing their breath or lung sounds.
Apart from knowing where to listen, you should also master when to use diaphragm and bell. As mentioned earlier, the former is used to detect high-pitched sound. Medical doctors and nurses use it to hear breath sounds or lung sounds.
You must apply firm pressure when you hold the device and place it onto your patient’s skin. If you need to hear lowest sounds, place it gently on the skin.
And, of course, make sure that you invest in a quality stethoscope. Although you can easily purchase cheaper units, they will not last long. They may also have weaker sound profiles. As a result, you will not be able to properly hear lung sounds. But do not invest on higher-end stethoscopes either, unless you know that you will be working in emergency cases.
If you wish to learn more about how to use a stethoscope to listen to lungs, watch this video: