Another question for you NICU nurses - page 2

I was wondering what you guys do about stethoscopes in NICU. I am just starting as a new grad and thinking I probably need to look into buying one. Does your unit have a stethescope designated for... Read More

  1. by   chrispy
    Yes! Our Babies all have their own steths as well and I work in Darwin Northern Territory Australia.

    I have been working with neonates for 9 years and have never had a problem.
  2. by   nell
    We all use our own stethoscope and clean them off with alcohol between babies. This is one more reason why I took a job at this hospital instead of others in my area. I'm well over 6ft tall and need longer tubing...
  3. by   Teshiee
    Where I work each baby has their own stethescope. It has become common practice in most acute care settings. I have my Littman neonate scope I have yet to use it!
  4. by   Heather333
    I agree that they stethoscopes are usually cheap and YES they are hard on the ears. We do have a few Littmann's on the unit but use those for the sicker kids.
  5. by   kmande
    The cleaning of objects is just as important as washing your hands. RSV lives on objects up to six hours. Hospital is closed in LA from dirty laryngoscope blade. Nursing 101 clean items & hands in between patients.
  6. by   PremieOne
    my unit has a stethoscope for each infant. we also have a clean one for admission beds. they get washed off each shift and the ear plugs get wiped off when they go into anyone's ears. we had a terrible ear infection go through the unit and it was traced back to one stethoscope.
    bacterial outbreaks are becoming more common and if each infant has his own stethoscope it will cut down the chances on those nasty and deadly infections. (just think of that one stethoscope going from one tiny infant to another and picking up all kinds of gastly bugs)
    we have had sevral threads now concerning infection outbreaks due to equipment not cleaned.
    Last edit by PremieOne on Dec 18, '06
  7. by   lovemyjob
    Quote from prmenrs
    I did Infection Control for over 7 years. I have NEVER, EVER seen a documented case of an infection passed from one pt to another via a stethescope. Hands, probably, NEVER a stethescope.

    It can be cleaned w/whatever topical disinfectant they use, the chestpiece can be cleaned with an alcohol swab between pts easily.

    It makes me absolutely crazy when nurses get so obsessed with inanimate objects--and forget what's REALLY important. HANDWASHING.

    Invasive devices are another story.

    If they want to have each baby to have their own scope, they could invest <$20 per kid, issue them when the kids are born, and clean them between pts-like the beds.

    Sorry--didn't mean to go off on this--
    I am suprised you would suggest a scope cover, all hospitals I have worked at/near have banned them b/c they harbor bacteria. I think the issue is that you cant wash it b/t pts, like you can the with the rubber tubing.

    We have a scope for each pt. They dont work that well, but you can hear a murmer and all other things you need to hear. i do wish I could use my own, but I understand their rationale.
  8. by   prmenrs
    scope covers can be washed very easily: get it off the stethoscope, wet it, take some disinfectant soap, any sort of liquid soap, squirt some on, and wash it like you're washing your hands. rinse well. squeeze it thoroughly in a towel or some other cloth, hang it to air dry or put in the dryer if you want to.

    if your hospital prohibits it, don't do it.

    they need to provide decent scopes if they want to give individual ones to ea baby. they can get them for less than $20. allheart discount pediatric / infant stethoscope with interchangeable heads instead, they get those stupid plastic ones. it's hard for newer nurses supposed to learn w/those lousy things.

    jmo
  9. by   lovemyjob
    Quote from prmenrs
    scope covers can be washed very easily: get it off the stethoscope, wet it, take some disinfectant soap, any sort of liquid soap, squirt some on, and wash it like you're washing your hands. rinse well. squeeze it thoroughly in a towel or some other cloth, hang it to air dry or put in the dryer if you want to.

    if your hospital prohibits it, don't do it.

    they need to provide decent scopes if they want to give individual ones to ea baby. they can get them for less than $20. allheart discount pediatric / infant stethoscope with interchangeable heads instead, they get those stupid plastic ones. it's hard for newer nurses supposed to learn w/those lousy things.

    jmo
    but, you cant wash it in b/t pts.

    we do have better than the plastic ones. ours are the grey ones with metal heads, in the neonatal size.
  10. by   wjf00
    Quote from kmande
    The cleaning of objects is just as important as washing your hands. RSV lives on objects up to six hours. Hospital is closed in LA from dirty laryngoscope blade. Nursing 101 clean items & hands in between patients.
    Of course you clean objects as well as hands. But a larygoscope blade is used invasivly, a stethascope is not. As a previous poster stated, a wipe with an alchohol swab will do the trick with a stethescope, and ear pieces. A laryngoscope blade, needs more detail in cleaning.
  11. by   RainDreamer
    All of our laryngoscopes are cleaned sterilely, so I'm not even sure why any hospital would have a problem with that unless they don't sterilize their instruments like they should be.

    As far as stethoscopes, I always use my own. A lot of the babies already have stethoscopes at each bed, but not all. And until they can provide all beds with a stethoscope at all times, then they aren't putting it into policy that we have to use the ones provided. Personally I think people are more conscious and aware when they use their own stethoscope ..... they are apt to cleaning it in between patients and making sure it's totally clean before going into the baby's bed. Whereas if a baby has a stethoscope hanging out of the isolette like most of them are, they'll just grab it and use it, without cleaning it off. Even though it's that baby's personal stethoscope, it's been hanging off the bed .... no telling who's been touching it, who's hit up against it, who dropped it on the floor, etc. So therefore, any type of stethoscope (baby's own or the nurse's own personal one) should all be wiped down before going into the bed anyhow.
  12. by   danissa
    :spin: never mind the stethoscopes, just getting the Doc's to wash their hands and carry out sterile procedures is a major concern when touching the babies! Our babies each have their own stethoscopes, but I agree, everyone uses them, regardless of how well they have washed their hands or how clean their ears are---YUK! I had a sore ear, even after cleaning a scope properly before use! interesting point, that the scopes hang outside the incubators, and are just grabbed and used when needed- I will bring this up in our unit, never thought about this before!

close