A stethoscope forms a part of the basic kit for nurses, doctors and all medical practitioners. In fact, a stethoscope hanging on the neck of a doctor is like a professional symbol for him or her. Accurately assessing your patient’s internal stats is largely dependent on the stethoscope. So, it is important for all health practitioners to avail the best of stethoscopes. Since it is one of the majorly and most frequently used devices in medical practice, it is a worthy thing to spend on for your long-term benefit.
Important Factors to consider while choosing a stethoscope:
#1. Stetho head
There are three types of stethoscopes based on the number of heads: the single, dual and triple head ones. Single head ones are best known for sound outputs with clear and wide frequencies. The dual head one is more diverse in use. The diaphragm forms one head and the bell form the other. The diaphragm works for the high frequency sounds while the bell produces the low frequency ones. The third kind of stethoscope is the most expensive and heaviest one critically designed to assess most accurately the various sounds of the heart.
#2. Usage of the stethoscope
There are various usages of the stethoscope that involve purposes like cardiology or pediatrics or for assessing infant health. The latter two have small head and chest pieces for their required fields of work. The bell measures around one inch and the diaphragm is contoured specially for pediatric bodies. The cardiology stethoscope has brilliant sound assessment so that it is easy to distinguish between the various kinds of sounds produced by the heart. There is another kind known as the Sprague Rappaport stethoscope that has separate chest piece tubes for the two different ear pieces.
#3. Ear and chest pieces
These need to be correctly assessed before you make your purchase, as they render the entire instrument useful. While checking the ear piece, you should ensure that it feels soft and is designed to fit perfectly well into the ear canal. While checking the chest piece, one thing you need to make sure is that it must be made up of stainless steel. This makes it a very good conductor of sound and prevents air leaks since the material is highly durable. Aluminum and zinc alloys are other good materials used for making chest pieces.
#4. Hearing impaired stethoscope
Modern technology has made it possible to build stethoscopes even for the hearing impaired individuals. These stethoscopes are extremely powerful and can greatly magnify the sound without being affected by external or outside noises. It is possible to attach this stethoscope with earphones, tape recorder or external PDA.
#5. Electronic factor
These are very popular stethoscopes these days because they contain extremely well-designed noise reduction features. The sound amplification techniques built into this equipment are equally great. This equipment however needs to be set and recharged to provide accurate outputs of sound. So do not include this in your emergency kit.
All in all, these are some of the factors that you should look into while making your purchase of the best stethoscope. You should give utmost preference to quality, comfort and convenience of the stethoscope that you are buying. Price shouldn’t be much of a concern, since this is a piece of equipment that is linked with a correct assessment of your patient’s health. Quality is very important while buying stethoscopes, even if that means paying a little extra for the model that you like. They are very important medical equipment and their purchase should involve meticulous care and consideration. Good luck with your purchase.