How Does a Stethoscope Work?

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One of the main pieces of equipment most healthcare workers use is a stethoscope and most people understand that this device let’s a healthcare provider listen to a patient’s heart, breathing, and many other things. But have you ever wondered how a stethoscope actually works? The stethoscope uses multiple reflection of sound waves to amplify the sound of the patient’s heartbeat or whatever it is the healthcare provider is listening for. You can experience this on your own when you hold your hand up to your ear to hear something better, or when you hold a seashell up to hear the ocean sound. The tubing of the stethoscope is what specifically enhances the sound. The basic pieces of the stethoscope are:
  • Diaphragm – This is the larger metal disc at the end of the device, its good for hear high pitched sounds like heartbeats and regular breaths
  • Bell – this is the opposite side to the diaphragm and is good for picking up lower pitched sounds like heart murmurs
  • Tubing – this is the flexible piece that runs from the diaphragm to the headset.
  • Headset – The headset consists of the brace piece to give the stethoscope structure, the Binuarals which are the metal tubes that run from the tubing and finally the ear pieces that make the stethoscope comfortable to wear as well as helping to block out outside noises.
For over 200 years the stethoscope has been the go to medical device to help diagnose and monitor any number of illnesses and issues. It will be one of your most important pieces of equipment as you start on the path to your new career. If you are ready to begin your new healthcare career today please visit our website at

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