Anybody who has something to with the medical profession, such as the doctors, nurses and the ones connected to the veterinary sector have to use a stethoscope. People who plan to take up any line of career in medicine would have to consider one of the tools of the trade: the stethoscope and how to use it. The treatment of every patient depends on a series of diagnostic tests. When a patient goes to a doctor, one of the first checks that would be carried out would be the body temperature with a thermometer and then check the patient’s heartbeat, how the lung is functioning and the digestive system. These are done with the help of a stethoscope. Even for the next step of checking the blood pressure of the individual, the stethoscope comes into use.
Some Basic Facts About Stethoscopes
The earliest known use of a stethoscope dates back to the beginning of the 19th Century by a French physician; however, at that stage, it was just a tube. The modern lightweight stethoscope came much later. The functioning of the stethoscope is facilitated by a chest piece, which looks in size and shape of a Carrom board striker, called the diaphragm. It has two sides; the traditional ones have a bell shape on the back side. Both sides are used for placing on the body of the patient to listen to internal sounds. There is a thick walled tubing connecting the diaphragm and the earpieces, one for each ear. This is what a stethoscope is all about.
Now returning to the primary question in a beginner’s mind as among the tools of the trade: the stethoscope and how to use it, the details are as below:
Using a Stethoscope the Right Way
While using the stethoscope, if you have keenly observed an experienced professional, the first action is to wear the earpieces onto the ears. It will fit into the ears in such a way that it will eliminate the outside noises and allow you to hear only the sounds transmitted from the diaphragm. You are now ready to examine the patient. The technique for holding the chest piece, again should be learnt from the experts. The best way to get the maximum from your stethoscope is to hold it gently between the index and middle fingers and place on the chest or back or the abdomen as the case may be. In the best practice recommendation, as far as possible, the diaphragm or the bell side has to be placed directly on the skin of the person being examined. Only in inevitable cases, a thin layer of clothing can be permitted. Otherwise, you won’t be able to hear the sounds properly.
People with breathing difficulties can be quickly identified using a stethoscope. The lung sounds and the rhythm generated and as heard through your earpiece will immediately tell you if something is wrong. Similarly for checking the heartbeats and if there is any abdominal disorder, your humble stethoscope can do it for you.