There are many times whenever you will be using the diaphragm side of the stethoscope, but using a bell end stethoscope can help in a number of different ways as well.
The Diaphragm End And The Bell End
- The Diaphragm side of the chest piece – It is going to send high frequency sounds to the ear
- The stethoscope bell – It is going to send low frequency sounds.
That is what makes the bell side so convenient for checking particular parts of the body, such as the intestines or for heart murmurs.
Here is how to properly use a bell end stethoscope so that you get the most out of it.
1. First and most important thing for you to do is to make sure that the stethoscope bell as well as the rest of the stethoscope is sterile.
- Although you may do this directly after examining the last patient, it is important for you to allow the patient that you are currently working on to see that it has been wiped down with alcohol.
- This can make them more comfortable, because most people realize that the stethoscope has been touching the skin of many people during the day.
- You can also use antimicrobial stethoscope bell covers
Being Thorough With Your Exam
Since the stethoscope bell is going to send low frequency sounds to the ear, it is going to be much different than using the diaphragm. These low-frequency sounds will be ideal for doing particular types of stethoscope exams, such as intestinal or listening for a heart murmur. Although you may want to use the diaphragm as well in order to be thorough, it is the bell end of stethoscope listening that will give you a better indication of problems in this area.
Not Too Much Pressure With The Bell End
A bell end stethoscope should also not be used with a lot of pressure, as this will make a difference in the amount of noise that you are hearing. Typically, a very light pressure on the skin is all that is necessary, and if you do press harder, it will make it more difficult to hear. You should also make sure that you are checking multiple areas on the body, including opposing sides of where the problem may occur, as well as both on the front and back of the patient. This will help you to pick up additional noises which can lead to a further understanding of what is going on inside of the individual.
In most cases, you will be using a duel head stethoscope for this purpose, but you will be using the stethoscope bell when this is the case. A bell end stethoscope is either going to work on the diaphragm or the bell, but never both at the same time. Always make sure that the bell was turned on properly by tapping very lightly on the diaphragm so that you can hear if the sound is traveling to your ears. Make sure that you do not tap too heavily, as this can be quite uncomfortable and can even damage your hearing, because of the sudden, loud noise.