Introducing the First & Foremost ‘instrument’ in every doctor’s armamentarium…a Stethoscope! 🙂
noun Medicine/Medical .
I am not promoting any particular brand here. This is my current tool 🙂
A bit of obligatory introduction:
- The 2 grey pieces are knows as ‘Earpiece’ – the end that we put in our ears.
- The rounded part – Diaphragm. And the other side of it is known as the Bell -> both parts are used to listen to patient’s body parts, to hear & differentiate the types of sounds heard (Besides the chest to listen to heart and breathe sounds, we can use it for abdomen & vessels too, yup! Get an idea if your vessel may be narrowed & remember a stet is used to check Blood Pressure too?)
- And the ‘tubing’ transmits the sound, so that it is heard louder than it is. Try listening to someone’s heartbeat with bare ears, and with a stethoscope. You will know what I mean.
* I personally believe everyone who uses a Stethoscope should have their own. Not a big fan of sharing, or using common stets for hygiene purposes – my only exception was in ICU settings. Each bed would have a stet to reduce cross contamination.
Okay, now that I am done with the necessary evil, lets move on.
My grouch is that:
- Patients SPEAK During auscultation!
I used to think that it is common sense! Apparently I was mistaken.
When someone has something IN their ears…say headphones, don’t we all know that they would be a little hard of hearing? Anyone who has had to SCREAM at their teen/peers with headphones on, would get me.
Ditto! SIMILAR PRINCIPLE! 🙂
When we wear our stethoscope and the earpieces are in our ears, our aim is to try to distinguish the sounds that we are listening to – be it your chest, or abdomen..or blood pressure measurement!
So, IF YOU Speak to us while the stethoscope is on you, there are 2 problems:
a) We can’t hear you clearly.
b) The auscultation becomes a futile attempt at that moment.
Not convinced? Try wearing a headphone and have someone you tell a story. Can’t get your hands on one? Just get 2 pieces of cotton and cover your ear canals.
One more thing…you do not have to automatically start breathing in & out the moment your doctor places his/her stets on you 🙂
I find it sooooo cute when patients’ do that!
Why not, you ask?
Because if your doctor is auscultating for your heart sounds, first he/she will try to pick up the rhythm. And if necessary, will proceed with asking you to inhale & exhale.
For lung auscultation, by all means…do your breathing exercises! 🙂
I’ve trained myself to Tell patients to not speak the minute I take my Stethoscope in hand 😉 When they still do, it irks me though.
Too complicated? Nahhh…Just STAY STILL & Follow the Instructions. And tell us your stories/complaints when we are all ears 😀
Your co-operation will aid doctors in serving you better. Thank You Very Much. 🙂