How to Use a Stethoscope

A stethoscope is a doctors signature tool. The most common use of a stethoscope is to listen to the heart, lungs and bowel sounds. The steps for using the actual stethoscope is rather easy but understanding the results you get from it can take much skill, study and practice. With that said lets go ahead and run through the steps of correctly using the stethoscope.

Things you will need

  • Quality Stethoscope
  • Thorough understanding of the human anatomy
  • Patho – Physiology of the sound producing organs.
  • High degree of patience


  1. Ensure that the stethoscope as two separate earpiece tubes.
  2. Ensure that the stethoscope tube is thick, short and relatively stiff with a small bore.
  3. Ensure that tubing is free of leaks.
  4. Locate a quiet environment to work in.
  5. Insert the earpieces into your ears.
  6. Place the round part of the stethoscope on the persons chest.
  7. Allow the sound to travel from through the tubing to your ears..


  • Use the stethoscope on bare skin as this will ensure that you do not pick up any secondary sounds such as rustling fabric.
  • Consider wiping the skin with warm water so as to avoid sound pollution from the skin’s hairs.
  • Consider warming the stethoscope before use if the time is cold.
  • Use electronic stethoscopes to provide amplification.
  • Slightly tilt the earpieces forward for a better fit in your ear.
  • Ensure that while in storage the stethoscope tube isnt kinked


  • Avoid tapping or talking into the round part of the stethoscope while it is in your ears as can cause serious damages to your ear drums.
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