Top 4 Features to Look for in a Pediatric Stethoscope
Performing any type of medical procedure on children, even during the diagnostic phase, presents a whole separate list of considerations and potential complications. This is very true when it comes to using a piece of integral equipment such as a stethoscope, as it is a key component of the early stages of treatment. Below are the four most important features you should look for when choosing the ideal stethoscope for pediatric use.
Choosing a stethoscope with a smaller chestpiece can significantly improve your ability to perform the standard diagnostic checks and tests on a child, as the reduction makes it easier to move the unit around the body as needed. Also, many models with a smaller chestpiece also include more delicate diaphragms, which are better at detecting the high frequency sounds that are common among pediatric patients.
Small chestpieces can also make the stethoscopes appear less intimidating, a top concern when working with children as they can often become quite fearful during medical examinations. This may not always be the case with every model, but in many cases it can make a significant difference.
Stethoscopes that feature chestpieces that support removable attachments are also very helpful when working in a pediatric setting, since they allow you to swap out the diaphragms and open bells for different sizes and shapes. Also, some diaphragms are made of different materials that are more sensitive to certain types of sounds that a standard diaphragm would not pick up at all.
Having this kind of flexibility is always helpful when working with children, as pediatric medicine involves dealing with children of different ages, leading to very different body types and sizes. You always want to be able to offer the most accurate care to each patient, and easily switching to a different diaphragm or open bell allows you to do just that.
Bedside manner is incredibly important for a pediatrician, or any other medial professional dealing with children, as is the appearance you present to them. In terms of stethoscopes, this is all about choosing a model that appears friendly and positive so that the child feels safe and at ease. An easy way to do this is by selecting one with a bright, cheerful color, since this helps break the image that every medical professional is cold and scary.
Most manufacturers make stethoscopes in a wide range of colors, with the primary colored area being the tubing. Certain models may also match the tubing color to elements of the headset or chestpiece, though these are less common.
Another key way that you can make the child feel safe and comfortable when using a stethoscope on them is by ensuring that is has a non-chill ring installed. This ring helps keep the cold metal of the chestpiece from touching their skin, which can cause discomfort as well as make them feel scared. Simple aspects like this help make the whole diagnosis process a smooth procedure, which in turn causes the child to feel safe and relaxed so that the professionals can properly diagnose any symptoms or issues.
A Word on Comfort
The comfort of the practitioner is also important when searching for a pediatric stethoscope, as an uncomfortable model can cause the wearer to become irritated over time. In turn, this can interfere with their ability to properly treat the patients, so it’s important to choose an ergonomic model to keep everyone as happy as possible.