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Areas for stethoscope ausctulation
Stethoscope placement for auscultation of the heart.

Areas for stethoscope ausctulationAreas for stethoscope ausctulation

Stethoscope placement for auscultation of the lungs.

Performing mediate auscultation, using a stethoscope, is an important part of a physical examination, and may allow for the identification of a variety of illnesses that might otherwise go undetected.

Stethoscope placement, patient positioning, and familiarity with heart, lung, and other body sounds are the keys to ensuring that you are performing auscultation properly. You should become familiar with the anatomy of the heart, lungs, and abdomen so you can better choose the ideal location for your stethoscope. Beyond these factors, selection of a stethoscope that fits properly, and is designed to best detect the sounds you are listening to, will further aid in your examinations.

While online training is no substitute for hands-on training, audio recordings can assist you in becoming more familiar with heart, lung, and body sounds and will improve your ability to detect these key indicators.

Below are two external links that may assist you in learning more about various conditions and sounds you may encounter when performing auscultation.

Practical Clinical Skills:

Online Auscultation Assistant:

  • This link provides an auscultation assistant complete with audio clips and explanations of various conditions to aid you in identifying their characteristic sounds. http://www.med.ucla.edu/wilkes/intro.html