Thursday, March 25, 2010

"which way do you insert the stethoscope"

Some poor individual in the US stumbled across this site after Googling “which way do you insert the stethoscope”. I feel that s/he probably didn’t find the required information here at the time, so here it is for future reference.

I will begin by stating that the Stethoscope is generally an external device, and if you were looking to use it for an invasive procedure, you should probably re-think your choice of instrument.

According to WikiHow, you should insert each of the two ear pieces into your ears, directed forwards. This is always a good start, but don’t panic if you’ve gotten this wrong. If you have accidentally lodged the ear pieces in your eyes, simply stretch them (the ear pieces) further apart and try again. If you happen to have inserted the ear pieces into your nostrils, open your mouth and use your nasopharynx as an amplification device. This has the disadvantage of transmitting the sound away from your auditory system, so you will need a friend to listen at your open mouth and describe the sounds to you.

Once you have determined which end you will use, the rest is relatively easy. The bell & diaphragm are situated on the other end of the stethoscope, and are intended to be placed upon the patient. Ensure you expose the patient’s chest so that you are listening over bare skin – a polyester shirt can mimic coarse crackles but you’ll look silly when the real doctor comes and declares the chest to be clear. If you have forgotten to warm up the ‘patient end’ of the stethoscope, you may hear a high-pitched screech from your patient. This is best heard with the diaphragm, which is optimal for listening to higher pitched sounds.

I hope that this has answered your question, oh poor lost soul. If you still lack confidence with this device, try draping the stethoscope around your neck and walking very fast so as to look very busy and important, and hopefully nobody will ask you to stop and use it.

No comments: