Do We Really Need Stethoscopes?

by:Honde     2020-04-12
This is an interesting question when considering the technological advances that have taken place during the 20th century alone. Ultrasound gives us sounds that are far greater and more secure for diagnosis. The stethoscope, no matter what brand or what model stands in the shadows of such technology. But does the stethoscope still serve a purpose that's worth the gamble of purchasing one? Let's first consider the fact that it is inevitable that technology like ultrasound is here to stay and is increasingly more effective as a diagnostic tool than a stethoscope will ever be. The stethoscope however should not be viewed as the primary tool for diagnosing, but rather it should be utilized as a tool that directs traffic or patients towards the right diagnosis. In other words, there are moments where the stethoscope is needed quickly for auscultation but that quick hearing of the heart doesn't declare a diagnosis and label a patient with heart murmurs. The stethoscope should not be given up, for the sole purpose of quick auscultation to reassure medical professionals of what they are dealing with. So do we really need stethoscopes? The answer to that question in a nutshell is yes, but it depends on the setting of the practice. If you don't work in an environment where you're being rushed then perhaps a stethoscope is realistically not needed because you can patiently set up your ultrasound machine or conduct your colonoscopy at your own pace. Nevertheless, it is necessary to never lose all touch from your stethoscopes because you truly never know when you're going to need it later on in your profession. Also, keep in mind that using a quality built stethoscope can direct you into the right direction so it always makes for good practice in your specialty to continue to use it. The argument behind stethoscopes lies in where some doctors begin to say that with all the technological advances stethoscopes are becoming unnecessary. Then there is the opposition party of medical doctors that believe strongly that the stethoscope is here to stay for generations to come because it is a basic diagnostic tool that is the beginning evaluating a patient. Additionally there is the argument that stethoscopes get lost easily or your fellow co-workers around the hospital have itchy fingers to steal your latest model. This is undeniably true; stethoscopes have the tendency to get lost if you're not careful. We have spoken to many nurses however who state that it's a matter of responsibility and keeping an eye and conscious attention to your area and your tools including your own stethoscope. Also engraving and tags have become popular ways of avoiding loss of stethoscopes. So to answer the question whether or not we need stethoscopes the answer is plainly yes. Yes because there are still times when this tool is essential and takes care of jobs like taking quick blood pressure. Some medical professionals say that the new blood pressure machines are sufficient, yet there are still those that teach in medical school who state otherwise and know the significance of proper blood pressure taking techniques. The stethoscope is here to stay with careers in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or the emergency room, the helicopter paramedic or the ambulance.
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