How do I "fix" my stethoscope... Diaphragm side not working.

  1. I have a Littmann Classic II and I was fooling around with it for a while. Well, when I put it on to listen, the diaphragm side doesn't "listen" but the bell does...

    How can I fix it so both sides work? I don't think it's broke or anything like that but still.

    Edit: I meant to post this on the General Nursing Discussion forum...
    Last edit by Spikey9001 on Sep 9, '10 : Reason: Want to move thread.
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   tammy1974
    Turn the bell around and it should work
  4. by   Boog'sCRRN246
    Both sides won't work simultaneously as you can only use one side at a time to listen. So, yeah, turn the bell around and the diaphragm will work.
  5. by   Spikey9001
    I did and it still does that... maybe I'm not positioning right haha... I'll just ask my instructor tomorrow.
  6. by   EMT-->RN
    The two other posters stated "turn the bell around" meaning rotate the bell. You can also test by lightly taping on it. If that does not work ensure that the earpieces are slightly pointing forward.
  7. by   Spikey9001
    I did turn the bell around and it still is only coming out of the bell... it only rotates on one plane.
  8. by   Spikey9001
    Also, how do you know if the stethoscope is on the "correct" side when you put it on your ears?
  9. by   Kringe38
    It will only rotate on one plane; that is normal. But it should be able to make 2 turns. Turn it once and you hear out of one side, turn it again and you hear out of the other.

    When you put the earpieces in your ears, the earpieces should be pointing forward. It's a position that feels a little counter-intuitive to me - feels like I am putting them on backwards - but that is the correct way. If you put them in and tap on the side you want to hear out of and hear nothing, then turn it once and try again. When you have the earpieces in your ears and tap on the "active" side, it should be very loud. Be careful when you tap!
  10. by   boxerboo
    when they say turn it, they mean the tubing right before the bell. You should hear it click whether you are turning it to the right or left. When you have the ear pieces in your ear, lightly tap the end of the bell to see if it works, if not, then click the tubing the other direction. It's kind of hard to explain. I hope this helps
  11. by   turnforthenurse
    When you turn the diaphragm/bell, you need to physically grasp the end of the tubing and actually "turn" the diaphragm/bell to the right side. Both sides aren't always open - you have to open it to the right side. If it still doesn't work for you, you can always just use more pressure when listening with the diaphragm to hear lower sounds that the bell will give you. I know for a fact that the Classic II has that "one touch" technology that I just described. Consult the instruction manual that comes with the stethoscope if you are still confused.

    As for making sure you're turned to the right side, I always place the stethoscope in my ears and lightly "tap" the diaphragm (or the bell if I'm using that) to make sure that side is open. I remember one time I was listening to bowel sounds with the diaphragm but I was turned to the bell side...then I freaked out because I didn't hear ANY bowel sounds at all. I realized I wasn't turned to the diaphragm side...