Can't hear normal breath sounds

  1. Hi fellow nurses,
    I feel embarassed to ask this question, but how can I know if I don't ask. Well, I have been a RN for three years, but I have never been able to hear normal breath sounds with a stethoscope. I always listen to each of my patients lung sound on daily assessments, but never hear any thing except for loud wheezing and rales from trach or asthma pts.
    Is there a special technique Please help.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   csadam
    Either you need a better stethoscope, or all your non wheezing pts are diminished... IN ALL LUNG FIELDS.
    Seriously try listening to your lungs with your stethoscope, if you don't hear anything get a new one!
    Good luck!
  4. by   CritterLover
    normal breath sounds are pretty subtle.

    don't mean to sound like a smarty, but have you tried really paying attention?

    i can remember having this problem when i was in school, and i just wasn't listening closely.

    agree that it could be your stethascope, or maybe you need your hearing checked?
  5. by   EricJRN
    If you get in the intercostal spaces (as opposed to on top of ribs), you may have more luck.
  6. by   sirI
    hello, hajiagambo,

    you might try these links, too. (found in this sticky helpful information for the unit in the ccu forum):

    http://sprojects.mmi.mcgill.ca/mvs/ the virtual sethoscope

    http://www.wilkes.med.ucla.edu/intro.html heart and breath sounds


    http://www.rale.ca/ breath sounds
  7. by   RNLULULABAMBA
    Quote from siri
    hello, hajiagambo,

    you might try these links, too. (found in this sticky helpful information for the unit in the ccu forum):

    http://sprojects.mmi.mcgill.ca/mvs/ the virtual sethoscope

    http://www.wilkes.med.ucla.edu/intro.html heart and breath sounds


    http://www.rale.ca/ breath sounds


    hi
    good sites for hajiagambo
    i tried using them too
    Last edit by RNLULULABAMBA on Mar 24, '07
  8. by   pointeblanc23
    amazing sites... i also tried using them... helps me alot distinguishing all those different sounds although one could never master them all at once...Thanks

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