Need stethoscope help/advise

  1. 0
    Starting my third semester of five for my associate degree. I am still having issues with hearing through my stethoscope. I can hear the heart beats, lung sound and such, but I also hear EVERYTHING else. This semester was crazy and I know I need more practice, but I get SO frustrated because of all the extra sounds that I hear. I have tried to talk to my professors, but they basically just threatened that they couldnt pass me if I couldnt hear and advised me to go buy the $300 Littman and get my hearing checked, but I can hear the heart/lung/bowel sounds when I can manage to get rid of the other sounds from patient or myself moving and fabric rubbing my stethoscope tubing. Any advise on how to decrease the extra sounds.


    Thanks Ahead of time...

    Sincerely Frustrated
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I have the $72 littman stethoscope and I hear much better with that than the one provided when I was in nursing school. I'd say its well worth it. Also, you can download audio files for lung sounds, bowel sounds, etc. just so you know what exactly to listen for. If you're in a loud environment like with the tv blaring you can politely ask to turn it down while you're still learning. I think with practice you'll get used to the background noises. Sorry if that doesn't really answer your question.
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    Also, I used to always practice at home on my family and friends! That will help =)
  6. 0
    Try increasing the distance between you and the patient. The problem could be that you are allowing the tubing to rub against you or the patient. The tubing conducts the sound from the bell, but it also conducts sound of the tubing itself when rubbed against something else. If you are hearing other room sounds then decrease TV and have other people be quiet when you are listening. The technique that I use to stop the rubbing noise from the bell is to press the bell to the skin using my thumb only and place my other fingers like a tripod on the patient's chest, back, etc. That stabilizes the bell on the skin so it doesn't move and make noise. Having your fingers around the bell can cause very minute movements of the bell and cause noise, but placing the thumb in the middle puts equal pressure on all sides of the bell and makes it more stable. If you have a 2 sided bell, make sure it is turned the correct way otherwise you will hear sounds from the top bell that is not touching the patient.
  7. 0
    Make sure the ear buds are pointing forward.


    And cut the tubing down if it is long: the shorter the tube the better the sound.
  8. 0
    Hold the stethoscope really firmly, and by the bell/diaphram and not by the tubing next to it. Extra sounds are always a problem for me too, but you just have to be as still as possible and hold the diaphragm firmly.
  9. 0
    Quote from dreams2be
    Starting my third semester of five for my associate degree. I am still having issues with hearing through my stethoscope. I can hear the heart beats, lung sound and such, but I also hear EVERYTHING else. This semester was crazy and I know I need more practice, but I get SO frustrated because of all the extra sounds that I hear. I have tried to talk to my professors, but they basically just threatened that they couldnt pass me if I couldnt hear and advised me to go buy the $300 Littman and get my hearing checked, but I can hear the heart/lung/bowel sounds when I can manage to get rid of the other sounds from patient or myself moving and fabric rubbing my stethoscope tubing. Any advise on how to decrease the extra sounds.

    Thanks Ahead of time...

    Sincerely Frustrated
    You've already gotten some good advice- I just wanted to add that you should be hearing fabric rubbing against your scope because you shouldn't be auscultating over fabric, and you should give your scope wide berth by pulling the fabric far enough away as not to touch any part of the scope.
  10. 0
    Quote from dreams2be
    Starting my third semester of five for my associate degree. I am still having issues with hearing through my stethoscope. I can hear the heart beats, lung sound and such, but I also hear EVERYTHING else. This semester was crazy and I know I need more practice, but I get SO frustrated because of all the extra sounds that I hear. I have tried to talk to my professors, but they basically just threatened that they couldnt pass me if I couldnt hear and advised me to go buy the $300 Littman and get my hearing checked, but I can hear the heart/lung/bowel sounds when I can manage to get rid of the other sounds from patient or myself moving and fabric rubbing my stethoscope tubing. Any advise on how to decrease the extra sounds.

    Thanks Ahead of time...

    Sincerely Frustrated
    Oh, and I have an Ultrascope, which is known for being good in high-environmental-noise situations. They recommend covering the whole head of the scope with your hand to hear better if needed.
  11. 0
    Great advice so far. I have a Littman 3200 because I have ear problems. Unless you are in the same boat, don't waste the money. It's a great scope for me, but all you're going to get are the same sounds, just louder.
  12. 0
    My first reply should have said you should NOT be hearing fabric. I thought I fixed but was typing on my phone...sorry.


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