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Stethoscope

Diaphragm: Diaphragm helps in controlling the amount of light that is passing through the opening of
the stage. It is helpful in the adjustment of the control of light that enters.

Coarse adjustment knob: Used for focus on scanning. Usually the low power lens is used enabling the
movement of the tube.

Fine adjustment knob: Used for focus on oil. Moves the body tube for focussing the high power lens.

Arm: It supports the tube of the microscope and connects to the base of the microscope.

Stage: The platform that is flat used for placing the slides under observation.

Stage clip: Stage clips hold the slides in proper place.

Condensor: The main function of condenser lens is focussing the light on the specimen under
observation. When very high powers of 400X are used, condenser lenses are very important. Presence
of condenser lens gives a sharper image as compared to the microscope with no condenser lens.

Base: Provides basal support for the microscope.

Power switch: The main power switch that turns the illumination on or off.

Major Parts of a Stethoscope

1. Chest piece – This is the logical part to begin with since “stethos” means chest .The chest piece
is the part held against the patient’s body.

2. The Stem – This is the part that connects the chest piece and the tubing.

3. Diaphragm – This part can either be double-sided or single-sided.

– A double-sided chest piece normally has a diaphragm on one side and a bell which is deep cup-shaped.

– Both the double-sided and single-sided chest pieces are surrounded by a flexible ring known as a chill
ring. The ring helps to create an airtight seal as well as buffer the patient against any coldness.

4. Headset – This is the metal part of the stethoscope.

5. Acoustic tubes – These are hollow rubber-like tubes that link the ear tubes to the chest piece.

6. Earpiece – This is the small tip at the ends of the ear tube that is placed in the ears. Some
stethoscopes either have soft silicone or hard plastic earpieces.

7. Ear tubes – These are the hollow metallic tubes that are connected to the ear pieces on one end
and the acoustic tubes on the other end.

The following diagram shows the parts of a stethoscope.


How a Stethoscope Works

“Stethos” means chest while “scope” means to hear. The meaning is clear but how exactly does a
stethoscope work when it is used to examine the lungs, chest or abdomen? Each part of the stethoscope
and its features are designed with a particular function in mind.

Stethoscopes work using sound waves. In other words, a stethoscope is used to transmit sound waves
from a patient’s body to the doctor’s ears. The body makes sounds while it goes about doing its
business. You are able to hear the heart beating and also valves opening and closing. If your lungs are
healthy they will sound hollow and if they are diseased they may crackle or wheeze.

The sounds produced or absence of sound from the abdomen is a way of giving you vital clues of what’s
going on in the gut. The sounds can either be low-frequency or high-frequency. Low-frequency sounds
will only make it to as far as the skin. On the other hand, high frequency sounds are loud enough to
vibrate the diaphragm (part of the chest piece) of the stethoscope while it is held against the body.

When you lightly press the chest piece against the skin, you’ll be able to pick up low-frequency sounds.
If you press it more firmly, you’ll be able to get high-frequency waves. From the chest piece, sound
waves will travel up to the acoustic tubes. The waves will then bounce off the sides of the tubes and will
later be reflected up in the ear tubes and finally on the earpieces. This is why the earpieces should fit
snugly and the tubes have to be airtight.

Function of Stethoscope
Lung
If you have a common cold or flu, or suffer from a breathing condition,
medical personnel can listen to your breath sounds through a stethoscope.
By placing the stethoscope on your lungs, they can hear sounds that alert
them to inflammation in the air passages or fluid and congestion.

Heart

Your heart normally beats at an even rate. With a stethoscope, doctors and
nurses can hear abnormal heart sounds such as; a murmur, irregular rate and other sounds that might
not be normal.

Blood Pressure

When the blood pressure cuff is inflated on your arm, medical personnel are trained to hear the heart
beating in the veins. The first beat they hear is the top number of your blood pressure and the last beat
they hear is the bottom number. You cannot hear these faint beats without a stethoscope.

Digestive System

As your food digests and even when the digestive system is empty, the stomach and bowels make
popping and gurgling noises. While you may be able to hear some of these sounds with your ears, a
stethoscope is much more sensitive to these noises. The absence of sound could mean you have an
obstruction in your bowels and a large number of noises could signal an infection or illness.

Pregnancy

An obstetrician may use a stethoscope to listen to a baby’s heartbeat in the uterus or listen to the
baby’s movement in the womb.