What is a stethoscope?
A stethoscope is a device that is used to listen to the internal sounds of your body, namely the sounds of the heart, lungs and abdomen. This tool is found in most health institutions, and is utilized by doctors and nurses as one of the most common medical tools. Stethoscopes can be used to identify different health problems such as problems to the respiratory system, blood pressure and blood flow. It can also be used to track the development of a fetus.
Choosing a good stethoscope
Since there are so many designs and styles to choose from, picking the right stethoscope for yourself or your institution can be a difficult task. In considering the quality of a stethoscope, some factors to consider are its diaphragm, tubing and its ability to resist water and oil.
The diaphragm captures low frequencies, and a stethoscope with a tunable diaphragm can be a good choice for paediatrics and adult patients.
The tubing of a stethoscope allows for sounds to be directed from the diaphragm to the ear piece. It functions to eliminate external noises and the transmission of sounds. High-quality tubing is made of thicker materials such as polyvinylchloride, and should be crack-resistant and foldable without breaking. Furthermore, high-quality tubing is resistant against water and oils on the skin.
3 ways to use a stethoscope
After choosing a quality stethoscope to fit your needs, you are now able to practice using the stethoscope on yourself or someone else! If you are new to using a stethoscope, here are some ways that you are able to put your stethoscope to good use.
Listening to sounds of the heart
Anyone who has been to the doctor’s for a check-up will be familiar with this process. By placing the stethoscope on the area of the heart, you are able to listen to the rhythms and beating of the heart. By moving the stethoscope around this area you are able to listen to the different sounds that the heart can make.
Listening to the sounds of the lungs
The sounds of the lungs can be heard by placing the stethoscope on a person’s back, while asking them to lean forward. The lungs are located below the collarbone, framing the heart on the left and right side of the body. A person’s obstruction to breathing is signified by interrupted sounds such as wheezing. The person’s breathing should be balanced in the areas of the bottom and upper left and right lungs.
Listening to abdominal sounds
The abdomen (or the belly) is the area between the chest and pelvis. If you cannot hear any sounds through the stethoscope when it is placed on the abdomen, this can indicate that the person has a health problem.
These are some simple ways that you are able to use a stethoscope to measure yourself or someone else’s health!