The stethoscope is a vital component in a medical professionals working life.
It allows healthcare providers to listen to and detect potential health problems that patients may be having.
While the device itself is extremely important for work purposes understanding the various parts and names of the stethoscope can help you gain a better appreciation for how it functions and how its put together.
The rest of this article will explain the main components of the stethoscope.
As a quick reference here are the names of the stethoscope parts:
When properly combined together these parts create a functioning stethoscope, which allows medical professionals to listen to a wide range of sounds so that they can quickly determine and treat potential medical issues.
The eartips of a stethoscope is the part that goes into the users ear where they receive the sounds that come from the chest-piece.
The eartips are generally made out of rubber or silicone material and are designed to create a form fitting seal inside of the ears so that unwanted sounds stay out.
A good pair of comfortable eartips are very important for users who spend a lot of time checking their patients health with their stethoscopes as it can make all the difference between a comfortable experience and an irritating or painful one.
All eartips are made with a soft, flexible material that is structured to fit and cradle the inner ears, a clear whole in the center so that the sound can easily transfer through them, and either a rigged or smooth interior on the opposite end of the eartips where the top end of the stethoscopes eartubes slide in.
Due to their small size and inexpensive price eartips are one of the easiest items a person can replace on a stethoscope to improve their experience, and it can even add a little increase to the sound quality of the stethoscope.
The eartubes are the metal/steel parts of the stethoscope that connect to the eartips and the synthetic/PVC tubing, which connects to the stem of the chest-piece.
The eartubes are designed to to isolate and transfer sound to the users ears with minimum quality loss.
These metal/steel eartubes help separate sounds into left and right channels in order to provide a better sound experience, which allows the user to more easily diagnose their patients medical condition.
As mentioned previously the bottom section of the eartubes connect to the stethoscopes tubing line where it receives the incoming sounds.
The soft flexible line of the stethoscope is known as its tubing.
The purpose of the tubing is to maintain and transfer the frequency / sound level that is captured by the diaphram or bell and send it to the eartubes where it can make its way to the users ears.
Depending on the stethoscopes make and model the tubing may be made with a single tube or dual lumen tube design that connects to the metal/steel eartubes.
A good stethoscope will usually come with a dual lumen design and tubing that is sectioned off into left and right hemispheres so that the diaphram/bell sounds can travel from the head of the device to the users ears with the most accuracy and acuity.
The headset is the combined components of the upper half of the stethoscope which include the eartubes, tension springs and eartips.
All of the components are designed together to form a comfortable alignment in the users ears and are angled in a way that provides maximum sound quality throughout the headset.
When viewed from the side the eartips of the headset can be seen pointed toward the users nose while the eartubes hang back slightly.
This allows sound to flow efficiently into the ear canal so that their is minimal disturbance from the stethoscope.
The stem is basically the metal/steel part of the stethoscope that connects the stethoscopes tubing to the chest-piece.
Aside from connecting the two components of the stethoscope it also allows the user to switch/click between the chest-pieces diaphragm and bell by turning the chest-piece and clicking it into place via the ball bearing.
The chest-piece or head of the stethoscope is composed of the connected stem, diaphragm and/or bell.
Depending on the stethoscope it may feature either a single-head or dual head design that may or may not contain a lower-frequency bell.
As far as function goes the chest-piece part of the stethoscope is used to listen to patient sounds by placing the diaphram or bell end of the chest-piece on the patients chest, back or stomach.
Most chest-pieces work best when applied against the patients skin, however some stronger, high quality stethoscopes may be able to pick up sounds through thin layers of clothing.
The diaphragm is the large circular end of the chest-piece.
This side of device allows medical professionals to listen to a wider area of the patients body and picks up higher frequency sounds than the bell half of the chest-piece.
Some diaphragms feature a non-chill, hypoallergenic diaphragm in order to ensure maximum comfort for the patient being observed.
The bell is the smaller circular end of the chest-piece.
This side of the device focuses on a narrower range listens for lower-frequency sounds that may not easily be detected by the diaphragm.
As with the diaphragm the bell may also feature a non-chill, hypoallergenic design to provide patients with additional comfort while they are being listened to.
A stethoscope contains a variety of important parts that allow it to listen to and transfer the internal sounds of a patients body to the medical professionals ears so that he/she can diagnose and treat the patients medical condition.
The parts of the stethoscope include the eartips, eartubes, tubing, headset, stem, chest-piece, diaphram and bell.
The sounds that are created from the patients body are picked up through the diaphragm or bell end of the stethoscope, which is pressed against the patients chest, back or stomach of the patient.
From the chest-piece, which houses the diaphram/bell the sound then travels through the tubing and into the eartubes before being passed to the users ears where they can hear the patients heartbeat, lungs and other internal sounds.