Stethoscopes are a diagnostic instrument used to detect heart, pulmonary and intestinal sounds. The use of a stethoscope for sound is called auscultation. Medical professionals are qualified to use stethoscopes.

  1. It is essential to have a high quality stethoscope. The higher the efficiency of your stethoscope, the simpler your hearing will be. Tape the diaphragm (flat side of the chest piece) to ensure tubing is free from leakage. Use earpieces to hear sounds when you tap. There could be a leak if you hear nothing.
  2. The earpieces are essential to be forward-looking and well fit. Otherwise, with your stethoscope, you would not be able to hear anything. You will not hear anything if you position them backwards.
  3. Test the tension of the earpiece of your stethoscope, make sure the earpieces are not too far nor near to your ears. Readjust the bits whether they are too close or too loose.
  4. You can’t hear anything if the earpieces are too loose. Squeeze the headset between the earpieces to ease the stress, pick a relaxed spot to use your stethoscope. Find a quiet place to make sure that your body sounds won’t get crossed by the sounds of surroundings.
  5. Choose your stethoscope’s correct chest piece. For stethoscopes, there are various types of chest parts. Pick one that suits your needs. Chest parts for adults and children are available in varying sizes. Place the diaphragm over the centre of the patient’s chest. Place the diaphragm nearly directly under the breast on the top left side of the chest, where the 4th to the 6th ribs meet. Keep the stethoscope and apply the subtle pressure to your index and middle finger so that the fingertips don’t rub together.
  6. Ask the patient to calm and take natural breathing. You can note the usual rhythms of the human heart, something like ‘lub-dub’ or ‘systolic’ or diastolic. The “lub” sound is Systolic, and the “dub” sound is Diastolic. The “lub” or systolic sound occurs as heart valves shut down with mitral and tricuspid. When the aortic and pulmonary valves close, the diastolic sound occurs.
  7. You will always listen to any odd sounds as you count the heartbeats. Something that does not seem to be lub-dub may be considered unusual. You may also ask the patient if you can’t hear breathing, or if they are too quiet to decide whether there are any irregularities while you listen, for further tests by the doctor.
  8. Listen to the lungs of the patient on the lower and upper lobes, as well as on the patient’s neck and back.
  9. The stethoscope is placed on the upper part of the heart, the mid-clavicular chest and then the lower part of the chest as you listen. Ensure that these areas are attended to on the front and back.
  10. Compare the lungs on both sides with the note if something is abnormal.

You can feel all the breathing in the patient’s body by filling both of these places. The Bronchial Breath Sounds of two forms are heard inside the tracheobronchial tree. I hope you liked our How To Use A Stethoscope Properly guide. If you don’t have a stethoscope yet, make sure to check out our review of the best stethoscopes.


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