Learn how to auscultate

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auscultation with a stethoscope tips
How to Listen with Your Stethoscope
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Mastering the art of auscultation is essential to assess and monitor your patients effectively, and it is a skill that requires a lot of practice. From key auscultation areas to tips on proper auscultation during physical examinations, support your learning with supplementary resources to make the most of your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope's exceptional acoustic performance and innovative features


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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. 

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Tips to perform a proper auscultation:

  • proper auscultation during physical examination of patient step 1

    Step 1: Perform auscultation in a quiet, well-lit, and warm room. This allows effective amplification of heart sounds.

  • proper auscultation during physical examination of patient step 2

    Step 2: Request for your patient to be appropriately disrobed. Having your stethoscope chest piece placed directly on your patient’s chest or back will eliminate distortions and frictional noise from clothing.

  • proper auscultation during physical examination of patient step 3

    Step 3: 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.

  • proper auscultation during physical examination of patient step 4

    Step 4: Repeat the steps using a stethoscope bell (see video below for conversion steps)  to help you listen for heart murmurs. Stethoscopes with both a bell and a diaphragm, such as the 3M™ Littmann® Cardiology IV™ Stethoscope and the 3M™ Littmann® Classic III™ Stethoscope, are recommended for this.  

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

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