What is a stethoscope?

A stethoscope is a device used to listen to different parts of the body. The most common body parts examined with a stethoscope are the lungs, heart, and abdomen (stomach). The stethoscope allows the medical staff to hear sounds within the body that are important for diagnosis and care of the patient. Often the stethoscope is used for repeated examinations to follow a patient's condition. Although a simple device, the stethoscope provides doctors and nurses with valuable information.

Is the stethoscope an accurate device?

A stethoscope can pick up crude sounds. It is not considered one of the most accurate tools but is simple to use and does not hurt.

Are all stethoscopes the same?

No. Stethoscopes vary in quality. There are many varieties of stethoscopes, some of which are inexpensive and of limited quality, while others are expensive and transmit sound much more accurately.