Auscultation is a clinical skill worth learning. The ability to accurately identify various heart, lung, and bowel sounds can help you quickly and efficiently assess patients and monitor their condition. The following conditions and equipment will help you perform a proper auscultation:
A quiet, well-lit, warm room.
An appropriately disrobed patient. This allows you to place the stethoscope directly on the chest or back and will eliminate distortions and frictional noise from clothing.
The ability to examine the patient supine, sitting, and in left lateral recumbent positions. You may hear different sounds, especially abnormal ones, in different positions.
A stethoscope with both a bell and diaphragm (or the capacity to act as a bell and diaphragm) is essential.
Learn more auscultation skills. The 3M™ Littmann® Learning Institute App is packed with auscultation training resources that help sharpen your ability to hear.