4 common types of stethoscopes

You will rarely come across any physician who doesn’t carry a stethoscope with them. In fact, it is one of the most important devices of daily medical practice. A stethoscope is a medical device that every paramedic, nursing student, medical student, and the doctor should possess in person. Though the traditional stethoscope helped the doctor listen to the bodily functions like the heartbeat, the respiration, or the digestion, the modern day stethoscopes differ according to their application.

The function of a good stethoscope is to allow you to perform the fundamental tasks like auscultation with the intention of assessing the condition of the thoracic organs, abdomen, and blood vessels. However, one stethoscope cannot be used to check different conditions, which is why there are different types of stethoscopes. The different types of stethoscopes include:

Cardiology stethoscope
Though this stethoscope looks like a regular stethoscope, it has the ability to give excellent acoustic sound quality. Also, it is accompanied by the ability to hear both low- and high-frequency sounds from the diaphragm, and you wouldn’t have to use a bell, which is commonly found in dual-headed stethoscopes.

Moreover, these stethoscopes have thicker earpieces that block out unwanted noise and prevent any interference with the auscultation, which is why it is used to listen to heartbeats, S2, and murmurs.

Infant stethoscope
This type of stethoscope is used for newborn babies and are the smallest of the kind. It has a very small diameter of about 2cm that ensures that the auscultation is accurate and the surrounding noise doesn’t interfere with it. These stethoscopes are available in non-latex forms to avoid allergic reaction in infants and have a non-chill ring as well.

Electronic stethoscope
These stethoscopes can help solve sound problems as they amplify the sound obtained from the chest-piece electronically and then convert it into electric waves that are transmitted through particular circuits. When the electric waves pass, they are processed for better listening. These stethoscopes are available in two categories, namely, the amplifying and the digitizing stethoscopes.

Teaching stethoscope
As the name suggests, this stethoscope is used primarily for teaching purposes. It features a single-lumen tubing that is highly durable and comes with solid stainless steel chest piece and has a dual headset. This feature allows the teacher and student to use the stethoscope at the same time and the students gain a better understanding of what’s happening to a patient.

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4 common types of stethoscopes