Electronic Stethoscope: An Epic Guide
When you are a part of the healthcare profession, people’s lives are in your hands every single day.
It’s a huge responsibility. It’s only natural that you would want the very best equipment to help you help others.
Over the years, technology has brought us huge advancements in how we help the sick, prevent illnesses, and detect health problems.
However, one of the most important tools you use to monitor health on a daily basis has remained shockingly unchanged for many years.
That is, until now.
Electronic stethoscopes are the wave of the future, bringing with them incredible capabilities and benefits.
What Is an Electronic Stethoscope?
As the name implies, an electronic stethoscope uses electricity to amplify bodily sounds.
Newer electronic stethoscopes use a combination of acoustic sound with electronic amplification to create the perfect marriage.
The fact that electronic stethoscopes produce digital, or electric sound pulses means that health care professionals are provided with the ability to control the volume of their stethoscopes.
If you’re hard of hearing, or you commonly work in loud environments, the ability to control the volume on your stethoscope can save time, and ensure that you are hearing bodily sounds properly.
This leads to more confidence, and far less frustration. In an already stressful work environment, cutting unnecessary frustrations can be imperative for your heath.
What Else Can You Do With an Electronic Stethoscope?
You may think that simply being able to control the volume on your electronic stethoscope is mind blowing enough.
However, due to the digital output, there are many new uses of stethoscopes that could never be done with an acoustic stethoscope.
For one, you can broadcast the readings of an electronic stethoscope over a sounds system.
This means that education, conferencing, and collaboration can go much faster and much more smoothly.
Now a team of nurses and doctors do not need to gather around an already uncomfortable patient and take turns listening to a heartbeat, or wheezing in the lungs.
They can all listen at once. Also, classes may all hear stethoscope readings at once and in real time.
Another groundbreaking application of the electronic stethoscope is that most of them are equipped with the ability to record sound.
This way a nurse, doctor, CNA or any other healthcare professional can actually record auditory readings on their stethoscope and allow others to listen to them.
Emergencies can be reported faster, and more accurately thus leading to better heath care for patients, and easier work for you and other health care professionals.
Not only can you record sound, but you can also save those recordings to a phone or computer which means you will have the ability to go back and listen to recordings in the future.
The applications for this feature are positively infinite.
You can save recordings for future reference in continued care of individual patients.
You can also use these recordings for teaching classes training others in health care sciences.
These recordings can also be used to gain opinions and flag concerns with other health care and medical professionals to diagnose, treat, and study complicated diseases and problems in individual patients, and to compare privately to other patients in experimental treatments.
What Are the Software Applications?
Beyond their built in abilities, some companies have developed specific software applications for their electronic stethoscopes that can be a major benefit for you, and your patients.
For example Littmann has created a software that allows you to transfer recordings of heart and lung sounds into visual charts for deeper analysis.
Zargis has also created software for electronic stethoscopes that helps health care professionals detect heart murmurs from audio recordings of heartbeats.
These amazing programs are just a few of the many software programs available for use in conjunction with electronic stethoscopes.
These programs help streamline necessary equipment, and are useful for many purposes that will help you take care of your patients better.
These life saving programs will not only be more convenient for you, but will be a huge benefit to all of your patients as these programs are designed to help you identify quite a few serious and often life threatening health concerns.
What’s the Price Range for Electronic Stethoscopes?
Electronic stethoscopes themselves can range anywhere between $80-$500 dollars with some models costing even more.
Even though the price is on the higher side for stethoscopes they are truly worth the price for all their available applications, software, and many other major benefits that are totally unavailable with any other type of stethoscope on the market.
What Kind of Accessories Can You Get For Electronic Stethoscopes?
You can swap out the traditional headphones with higher sound quality over ear headphones, more ergonomic ear buds, and some even have noise canceling features for less outside noise interference.
There’s more. Some models provide attachments that can wireless sync your stethoscope to your smartphone or your computer where you can save, download, and send recordings for future reference, or to alert other healthcare professionals of concerns instantly.
If volume control isn’t enough, there are electronic stethoscope amplifiers for the hearing impaired so your hearing troubles do not interfere with your talents as a health care professional.
That’s not all.
Some models also provide direct wire input devices to download recordings from your stethoscope to your computer with ease.
Even if your Wi-Fi is having trouble, these direct connections will ensure that you still are able to upload all the recordings you need to provide excellent health care with the utmost of ease.
Other Benefits of an Electronic Stethoscope
Electronic stethoscopes are lightweight and comfortable to wear, carry, and use.
Plus, with their ergonomic accessory options, you can customize a stethoscope that is perfect for your hearing and comfort.
Gone are the days of a “one stethoscope suits all”. With electronic stethoscopes you truly get to have it your way.
Another wonderful benefit of having an electronic microscope is that they come with an LCD display screen built on to it which shows the heart hate you are hearing as the heart beats.
So, not only can you hear a heart rhythm you can also see it in real time.
Electronic stethoscopes are also easily modified which means that not only can you choose the accessories that are most comfortable for you, but you can also swap out different accessories for different jobs.
This means that your stethoscope is actually working for you and your patients to provide the best, most appropriate, and most accurate care possible.
Isn’t that what health care is all about?
Why Doesn’t Everyone Have One Yet?
The earliest electronic stethoscopes gave themselves a bad reputation for not picking up all the sounds that an acoustic stethoscope was able to.
However, the latest electronic stethoscopes are made with acoustic technology integrated with electronic technology ensuring that they pick up all the sounds of traditional stethoscopes.
Also, you will have all access to all the wonderful features that made electronic stethoscopes popular in the first place and more.
Another reason some health care professionals hesitate to switch over to an electronic stethoscope is that they run on batteries that must be replaced occasionally.
You also must be careful in cleaning your stethoscope because an electronic stethoscope is not waterproof.
That also means that using electronic stethoscopes in very wet conditions may not be ideal.
However, there are some great ways to clean your stethoscope without getting it too wet.
There are also ways to use them without exposing them to too much moisture in wet conditions.
These little wonders are worth the extra maintenance, and are sure to serve you well.
Your stethoscope is among your most used tools as a health care professional.
Shouldn’t you have the very best for you and your patients?
Shouldn’t you have a stethoscope that actually makes your job easier?
Switching to an electronic stethoscope can save you time, reduce your already high stress levels, and drastically improve your ability to care for your patients.
Also, with the constantly developing technologies surrounding electronic stethoscopes, they will be come the new standard for all health care professionals in the future.
Getting an electronic stethoscope today will put you ahead of the learning curve later.
Take the plunge and start enjoying all the amazing benefits electronic stethoscopes have to offer.
A small investment today will pay for itself in saved time, and more accurate readings.
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