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The Art of Auscultation

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.

Auscultation tips

Accurately identifying various heart, lung, and bowel sounds is an important part of any clinician’s repertoire. Being able to perform proper auscultation in optimal conditions will help you quickly assess your patients and monitor their condition with precision.

Tips to perform a proper auscultation:

  • auscultation

    Perform auscultation in a quiet, well-lit, and warm room. This allows effective amplification of heart sounds.

  • patient in a medical exam

    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.

  • auscultation points

    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.

  • bell of stethoscope

    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.

Learn how to auscultate with your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope