All You Need To Know About The Origin and Mechanism Of Stethoscopes

Stethoscopes are rightly said to be the symbol of medical professionals and their assistants. The basics are known to all of us. You put one end on the sick person and the other end into your ears. But the stethoscopes have much more useful than just that.

All You Need To Know About The Origin and Mechanism Of Stethoscopes

Here are some of the vital facts about stethoscopes that will help you get a better idea about this tool and its mechanism. Just read on to know more.

Origin of the Stethoscope

The stethoscopes were a little more than just ear tubes. They were first invented by Rene Laennec. Then they were updated for better functionality and the current design is credited to Dr. David Littman of the Harvard University. He did not only offer better acoustics but also made the tool much lighter.

Parts of the Stethoscope

The modern stethoscope is fairly simple. However, this does not include the digital ones that amplify the sound. The following will offer you a vital vocabulary. The most important parts of a stethoscope are the smaller concave piece with a hole in it known as the bell while the larger, flatter side of the chest piece is said to be the diaphragm. You can switch between the two by twisting the chest piece by 180 degrees. After that, you will hear a click. Then you should tap so that you can assess which side is on.

How It Works

Much like your eardrum, the diaphragm happens to be a sealed membrane that vibrates. It moves the column of air inside the stethoscope tube up and down which in turn, moves the air in and out of your ear canal and bingo, you are able to hear the sound. The column of air that moves in the tube has a far limited surface area than that of the diaphragm. Therefore, the air must travel more than the diaphragm and cause a magnification of pressure waves that leave the ear tip. In the ear, larger pressure waves are capable of creating louder sounds. That is how stethoscopes amplify the sounds.

Holding the Stethoscope

The vital thing to keep in mind, in this case, is that you must hold the chest piece in between the index and middle finger of your dominant hand. This offers a better grip than the fingers placed around the diaphragm or bell. This allows pressing against the patient without your fingers creating a noise from rubbing. A gentle touch is most recommended in this case.

Placing the Stethoscope

You must place the diaphragm directly against the skin of the person for the best sound transmission. If you have not got ample time then you can hold it on one thin layer of clothing like a t-shirt.  But that is not at all recommended as you can miss vital nuances in this way and that is not acceptable.

The above discourse will give a clearer idea about the origin and mechanism of the quality stethoscopes like that of the 3m Littmann stethoscope. This will help you to operate it more confidently and in the correct way and thus, treat your patients in a faster and better way.