Mastering the art of auscultation is essential to assess and monitor your patients effectively. It is a skill that requires a lot of practice. Take advantage of the supplementary information and resources here to support your learning with your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope, and make the most out of its exceptional acoustic performance and innovative technological features.
Perform auscultation in a quiet, well-lit, and warm room. This allows effective amplification of heart sounds.
Request for your patient to be appropriately disrobed. Having your stethoscope chestpiece placed directly on your patient’s chest or back will eliminate distortions and frictional noise from clothing.
Examining your patient while he or she is supine, seated, and in left lateral recumbent positions will help you hear different sounds, especially abnormal ones, by accentuating them in different positions.
Repeat the steps using a stethoscope bell (see video below for conversion steps) to help you listen for murmurs. Having a stethoscope with both a bell and a diaphragm, such as the 3M™ Littmann® Cardiology IV™ Stethoscope and the 3M™ Littmann® Classic III™ Stethoscope, can help you immensely with this.