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What to look for in a good stethoscope

What to look for in a good stethoscope

The stethoscope is identifying equipment for a doctor. Whenever you have seen a doctor whether in real life or on TV, you have seen him with a stethoscope. In fact, even in toys, the basic equipment of doctors includes foremost a stethoscope. If a person is wearing a white coat and a stethoscope then you label him to be a doctor without thinking twice.

Do all doctors use the same stethoscope?

Do you like me think that all stethoscopes are similar? I used to think that as they all look the same, they must be the same. But you will be surprised as well that actually they are not only different but individually preferred by doctors. Kind of reminds you of Harry Potter, where each wand was preferred by an individual magician. Similarly, each doctor selects or prefers using a stethoscope by its acoustic ability, and comfort, and ease of use.

Besides, stethoscopes are categorised broadly as:

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  • General or classic
  • Cardiology
  • Electronic
  • Teaching
  • Nurse
  • Infant
  • Veterinary

All of these are designed according to the purpose they fulfil and the sensitivity of their tasks. For example, the cardiology stethoscope is more sensitive in acoustic than the classic one. Their pricing is also dependent on their type.

What features define a good stethoscope?

Although choosing a stethoscope is like choosing a glove, one cannot fit all. However, since it is very sensitive equipment and a patient’s diagnosis or life can depend on it, so what you should look for in a good stethoscope generally is similar.

You do need specific points to identify them further but the general overall features regarding the performance and reliability are the same. Here are a few features you should look for; rather make sure of it in any and every stethoscope you choose:

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1. Acoustic

The stethoscope is an instrument used to listen to the sound, be it pulse or fluid or abdominal gas etc. The purpose is to listen. So this is the most important feature of any stethoscope. How well the sound of a pulse is handled in the stethoscope and can be heard at the other end is the whole purpose of making a stethoscope.

But selecting the best stethoscope based on its acoustic is not the same for everyone. Do we all have the same hearing ability? Well…. Your answer will be NO of course! So how can we need the same kind of sound sensitive device?

For doctors who have good hearing and the purpose they need to buy the stethoscope for is general, then a classic one can do their work. But a person who has hearing problems will need a hearing impaired one. Similarly, a cardiologist will need a different one and a nurse or a paediatric will need a different one.

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2. Materials used

The material used to make a stethoscope should be durable and long lasting. In addition to that the material used, which is usually rubber and aluminium, should be of top quality so it doesn’t affect the weight and acoustic of the stethoscope.

3. Comfort and ease of use

A doctor or nurse will be using a stethoscope most of the time while on duty, when not using it, it will be hanging around their neck. So for their comfort, it should be lightweight. It should also be very easy to use and handle. The earpieces should not be rough and the rubber tubes should not be short and stiff. The purpose of the stethoscope is to enhance their performance, not hinder it.

What to consider while choosing a stethoscope?

Well after all the discussion and details above, I can only summarise that the bottom line is that choosing the right stethoscope depends on the following:

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  • What kinds of patients you will be dealing with.
  • What type of environment you will be working in.
  • What amount of money do you have in your budget.

Like all important equipment, you need to protect your stethoscope and keep it clean so it can be used for a longer period and its efficiency doesn’t get affected. Consider it an investment and look after it because getting a good stethoscope can cost you a bit.

You can also personalise it by labelling or getting your initials carved on it. You can do the same for a doctor or nurse and give it to them as a gift!

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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