Stethoscope: What is it and how is it Used

 

Stethoscopes are possibly the most famous and most commonly known symbol of anything that has to do with medicine and doctors. Every single doctor, medical student, nurses, midwives and anyone from the medical profession has always been using a stethoscope in their work. Even for small children, playing “doctor” involves jabbing away with a stethoscope even before they are actually aware of the responsibilities of the profession.

So, what exactly is a stethoscope?

A stethoscope, primarily, is an extremely important and a basic medical instrument. It is neither electrical nor does it run on batteries; rather, a pretty mechanical device that is one of the first things a doctor or a nurse reaches for when encountering a patient.

You can recognize a stethoscope immediately when meeting a doctor for the first time! It is the instrument that will either be hanging by their neck or in their hands. The reason that a stethoscope is always kept close is because the doctor, or the nurse, will need it to make their first assessment about a patient’s condition, no matter the reason they seek medical help

What is the doctor actually listening to?

The primary uses of a stethoscope are to listen to a patient’s heart, lungs and blood flow, and sometimes, to their bowel movements.

When a doctor or a nurse is pressing the stethoscope to your chest and back, they are actually listening to your “heart beats” and “murmurs”. While everyone knows what “heart beats” are, “murmurs” are actually irregularities in the blood flow. Some “murmurs” are harmless, but some might be pointing to a problem in the body. A doctor or a nurse will probably place the stethoscope on at least three to four locations on you’re the left side of your chest and back, and listen for a minute to decide whether everything is all right.

On the other hand, “wheezes” and “crackles” are heard from the lungs (over the chest) when they are congested. Around the heart, “wheezes” and “crackles” mean that the airways are not clear; this happens when there is fluid in the lungs because the patient is suffering from extreme cold or asthma. The severity of the problem can be primarily determined with a stethoscope, before sending the patient for further tests if needed. Normally, a healthy pair of lungs doesn’t make any sound when completely clear.

“Gurgling” sound in the bowels indicate a problem with gas and indigestion. Doctors might check for these problems when a patient comes in with complaints of stomachache and/or backache.

On a related note, combined with a sphygmomanometer, a stethoscope is used to measure blood pressure, both at home and by a medical professional.

There are two types of Stethoscopes…

The ones familiar to everyone are known as Acoustic Stethoscopes. They transmit bodily sounds from the chest piece to the ear pieces through a hollow tube.  An Electronic Stethoscope, on the other hand, electronically amplifies body sounds to send clearer audio to the ears. It is usually a wireless device that can sometimes even record the sound, as well as provide audio/video output. Not many people can afford to buy an electronic stethoscope for personal use; rather, it is the acoustic stethoscope that is more in use around homes.

Two other types of stethoscopes are Fetal Stethoscopes and the Doppler. Fetal Stethoscopes are used to listen to fetal heartbeat, but they are not too accurate. A Doppler, alternatively, traces moving objects inside a body, i.e. the beating heart of the fetus inside a pregnant woman.

What to Look for in a Good Stethoscope?

You might be looking for a stethoscope if you are about to start your medical life, or for personal use at home. A good stethoscope should have these few features for it to deliver the best results:

  • A stainless steel chest piece; alternatively, one made from bronze alloys. The finish on the outside should be hand-polished, but the insides should also have perforations and should be able to absorb sound properly.
  • A tube made from thick material. This will exterminate all unnecessary noise and ensure good sound.
  • A diaphragm made from flexible material.
  • Earpieces that are soft; otherwise, the tips wouldn’t fit into the ears properly.
  • The headset that is angled at 15°. This is one reason you need to try on the stethoscope before buying it, as the angling of the headset is an important feature.
  • A stem that is also stainless steel or titanium. It may seem like an unimportant feature, but the right material for the stem ensures good sound.

Knowing How to Use Stethoscope Properly

Whether you are about to embark a medical career or buying a stethoscope for personal use, learning how to use it is easy, and possible for anyone who can hear.

The first thing you need to do with a new stethoscope is to adjust the earpieces so that they are facing each other at the correct angle. They must fit into your ears properly if you want to hear heartbeats and murmurs appropriately. At the same time, they must not be too tight inside so that you hurt your ears.

The chest piece has two sides to it: the diaphragm and the bell. The former is for listening to higher frequencies and the latter one is for lower frequencies. Tap slightly on the side you want to use at that moment to know whether it is working properly or not; if you hear the tapping noise clearly through the earpiece, it is working fine. Otherwise, you have to switch between the diaphragm and the bell to adjust the side you need.

The ideal setting for listening with a stethoscope will be a quiet room, with the patient initially lying on their back. Place the chest piece on the chest of the patient (to listen to their heart), and listen carefully. If you hear the heartbeat clearly, your stethoscope is working fine. What you should be listening to actually depends on your purpose of use.

Maintaining your stethoscope requires proper cleaning of the earpieces so that there are no obstacles. Too much dirt accumulating on it will impair hearing, and give you a misdiagnosis. You can clean the earpieces, as well as the chest piece, with alcohol wipes. Avoid direct application of liquid cleaners as they might harm the stethoscope. Also, look for cracks, as they might be a problem as well.

How to Choose the Best Stethoscopes for Nurse

Nurses are some of the most battle-ready people in the world. They’re always on the go, always taking care of people with poor health and always adapting to difficult work schedules. That said, this job is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of patience and dedication in order to become a skilled and competent nurse.

With this in mind, nurses need all the help they can get. That includes getting the best nursing gears, equipments and gadgets to aid them in their every day battles. One of the most basic things a nurse should own is a stethoscope.

It’s best to have your very own stethoscope so you can choose a great brand with the features that will allow you to have the most accurate readings. In a place as busy as a hospital, having a stethoscope that offers loud and clear acoustics can really come handy.

There are so many stethoscope brands out there. Because of that, you might find yourself overwhelmed with your vast number of choices. It’s so confusing to pick just one brand, especially when all your choices seem amazing. [Read more…]

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Toxins and Boost Nutrition

If you are like me, you are trying to balance a greener living and eating a healthier diet. I want to reduce the toxin load on my body and my family’s which may be directly related to cancers, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases and illnesses. This is sometimes easier said than done. We are a family of 5 and can’t always afford organic in the volume of food we need each week. My trips to the grocery store have become longer as I focus on labels and ingredients and not just buying what we want or like. It also has to be affordable and my kids have to like it which makes buying groceries increasingly complex.

I am sharing a list of five things that are important to me when I buy for my family. These are items I rarely compromise on and that are very easy and affordable for everyone. It will help you reduce toxin exposure and give a nutritious boost to your family’s diet. [Read more…]

10 Tips For Surviving The First Year of Parenthood

The first year of parenthood can be a wild ride. Expectant parents are often teased with phrases like “sleep while you can!” or “say goodbye to your Friday nights out!” These off-hand comments can be hurtful and sometimes daunting. The parents-to-be start to wonder what exactly they have signed up for.
Becoming a parent is definitely a lifestyle change, and the demands of a newborn will throw you in at the deep end, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it.

Since your child’s infancy is such a short-lived time, there’s no reason not to enjoy it as much as possible. The following tips are designed to help new parents cope and support each other through a period of their lives which they will remember with fondness… some day. [Read more…]

How to choose the Bottles For Babies

Bottle Warming Tips

Warming a baby’s bottle has more to do with parents compared to the baby. There is no actual reason to warm a baby’s milk, except if the baby appears to like it warm. If you do warm the baby’s bottle, whether it is revealed breast milk or formula based, there are do’s as well as do n’ts that have to be adhered to. Warming the baby’s bottle can involve putting it under running warm water. One more method to warm the baby’s bottle is to buy a bottle warmer that is created just for this function. Doctors believe that the most effective bottles for babies including baby’s formula does not have to be warmed up, they can drink it at area temperature level without triggering any kind of digestion problems, colic, or spitting up. [Read more…]

Why you should buy a baby walker

Baby WalkerAs a moms and dad, you constantly wish to ensure the security of your baby, right? Nonetheless, some instance put your child in the dangerous scenario. You could not focus or hang on him or her, for a moment or two. Kinds of circumstances naturally arise during the everyday course. As a result, because of this, selecting a secure and comfy place for your baby to play is quite necessary. However, somehow you could ask yourself if baby walker is safe or dangerous for your kid. Well, to this concern, right here’s a quick guide to consider in acquiring best baby walkers for your baby.

Features

Size and Weight

The dimension and weight are also a quite crucial element to consider when you acquire a baby walker. Although there are various products available (baby walkers) on the market today, it is certainly quite essential to select which among of these suits to the dimension and weight of your child. Keep in mind, not all baby walkers produce equivalent, specifically concerning dimension as well as weight. If you take this attribute into account, it could then provide you superb point of view in deciding which aspects like which sort of walker has a big treat tray and other things that finest suitable to the needs of your baby. [Read more…]

How To Find The Best Electric Toothbrush?

Finding the best electric toothbrush for your needs given all the options, prices and models is tough!   But don’t worry, this electric toothbrush buyer’s guide will provide you with everything you need to know to find the best electric toothbrush for you!

While we certainly have our pick for the best electric toothbrush, that doesn’t mean that brush is necessarily the best one for you.   Understanding the models,  features, performance and size is critical to making sure you purchase an electric toothbrush that is comfortable and meets you’re individual needs.

Why Use an Electric Toothbrush?

Today, people surrounded themselves with technology, yet the majority of us still use a toothbrush that was invented so far back in history it’s not even recorded!   There have been major advances in toothbrush technology in recent years, and frankly it’s time for people to consider making the switch. [Read more…]

Oral-B PRO 1000 Electric Rechargeable Power Toothbrush: Features and Benefits

Oral-B Pro 1000 Power Rechargeable Electric ToothbrushIf your regular toothbrush fails to give you cleaner and whiter teeth no matter what kind of toothpaste you use, it is time you replace it with Oral-B PRO 1000. Electric toothbrushes offer far more benefits than your regular toothbrush. For one, an electric toothbrush can remove plaque and food particles in areas that your regular tooth normally cannot reach, such as crevices, and cracks in between teeth.

Some electric toothbrushes however, perform better than most electric toothbrushes in the market. One example is the Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean Precision *1000* Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush.

Features of the Oral B Precision 1000

  • Professionally inspired design – The round shape design of the Oral-B PRO 1000 is similar to that of dental cleaning tools. With its round shape, it can surround each tooth for a more precise tooth-by-tooth cleaning.
  • Daily Clean Mode – This feature for Oral B Precision 1000 is designed for optimum mouth cleaning. It features 20,000 pulsating movements per minute to remove plaque five times better than any regular toothbrush.
  • Pressure Sensor – This feature prevents you from brushing too hard.
  • In-handle brushing timer – It will tell you the battery level so you will know when the toothbrush needs to be recharged. The timer also ensures that you brush each quadrant of your mouth.
  • Waterproof and ergonomic handle – Its ergonomic design allows users to brush with ease and it does not require much maintenance with its waterproof handle.
  • Precision clean refill brush head made with indicator bristles – You will know if the brush head needs replacement as its bristles will fade halfway.
  • Long-lasting rechargeable battery – This electric toothbrush can last up to 7 days with regular use when fully charged.

Benefits

Oral-B PRO 1000 is made with Oral-B’s unique oscillating, rotating and pulsating technology. The rotating oscillating action allows the head to rotate in one direction and then the other in one tooth to sweep away plaque effectively. According to studies, toothbrushes with rotating oscillating action remove plaque and prevent gingivitis more effectively than manual toothbrushes.

It includes one brush, but you can use it with other brush heads to fit your personal needs and preferences.

The pressure sensor feature is useful in protecting your teeth and gums as it prevents you to brush too hard. It also helps make your electric toothbrush last longer, as it prevents bristles from wearing out quickly.

What many people love about Oral-B Precision 1000 is that it is lightweight and quite affordable compared to most electric toothbrushes. This makes it easy to use and easy on the wallet. Consumers will also have peace of mind when buying as it comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, and 2-year limited warranty for repair and replacement.

Drawbacks

The brush can be a bit hard, which makes it unsuitable for people with sensitive teeth. However, this problem is easily remedied if you replace it with other brush heads compatible with the Oral-B PRO 1000.

Whiten Teeth and Improve Gum Health with Oral B Pulsonic

Oral-B Pulsonic Sonic Electric ToothbrushIf you liked the Sonicare Essence, then you will love the Oral B Pulsonic electric toothbrush even more. It is slimmer than your Sonicare Essence, which makes it stylish and more comfortable to use. Oral-B is also a brand trusted by most dental professionals, so you know you are buying a good quality electric toothbrush.

Oral B Pulsonic Features

The Oral B Pulsonic electric toothbrush has the following useful features:

  • Two-minute timer to ensure that you follow the recommended brushing time by dentists
  • Clean mode and Sensitive brushing modes, allow you to customize your brushing
  • Sonic technology creates a dynamic bristle cleaning action to remove plaque and surface stains, resulting in cleaner and whiter teeth
  • Two oral-B replacement heads, Pulsonic and Precision Tip, to meet your unique cleaning needs

[Read more…]

Elegant and Stylish Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Electric Rechargeable ToothbrushTaking care of your teeth and gums is easier with an electric toothbrush like Philips Sonicare DiamondClean. It can remove plaque better than any manual toothbrush, thus promoting healthier gums and teeth in just a matter of weeks. Find out whether it is the kind of electric toothbrush you want based on its features and benefits.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Features

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean has the following useful features:

  • Powerful sonic technology that helps clean teeth with up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute, and drives fluid in tight spaces between teeth to stimulate gums, resulting in cleaner and healthier mouth
  • Brush heads with diamond-shaped bristles have the ability to gently remove plaque in hard-to-reach areas, and remove surface stains and build-up for whiter teeth
  • Five cleaning modes (Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, White, Polish) for custom cleaning
  • Smartimer encourages full two-minute brushing, which is the time recommended by dentists
  • Quadpacer allows 30-second intervals while brushing to ensure you brush all four quadrants of your mouth.

DiamondClean comes with:

  • Charging glass, which features conduction technology. It charges your toothbrush while in the glass
  • Rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that lasts up to three weeks on a single charge
  • Battery indicator light to tell you if the battery needs to be recharged
  • USB charging case that will allow you to take your electric toothbrush anywhere you go

Benefits

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean uses sonic technology that removes 100% more plaque than your ordinary toothbrush. The gentle brushing action also prevents gum recession, so you have clean and healthy gums. Its whitening system will make you feel like you have been to the dentist for cleaning, but at your own convenience.

It features 5 different brushing modes to suit the different needs of users. You have white mode, that removes surface stains to whiten teeth, Sensitive mode for people with sensitive teeth, Polish for shinier teeth, Gum Care to improve gum health, and Clean, which is the standard 2-minute brushing.

The charging glass is not only sleek and stylish, but offers convenience as well. It charges your toothbrush when not in use, and you can use the glass for rinsing. You just need to remove it from the base. The ceramic-like handle is very stylish, yet offers a nice grip even when wet.

It comes with a USB charging case, which is very useful for travelers. You can charge it through your laptop or plug it into a wall socket.

Cons

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush can be quite expensive. You can find quality electric toothbrushes with the same functionality as the DiamondClean but for a lower price.

You are paying for style rather than for functionality. Unless you are willing to pay extra for style, the DiamondClean electric toothbrush may not be the kind of electric toothbrush you are looking for.

Overall, DiamondClean electric toothbrush is a high-quality toothbrush. It has elegance and style that will look good in any bathroom. However, you have to decide whether the sophisticated style of the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is worth the extra costs.