As an EMT, you have to respond quickly to emergencies, so having inaccurate or non-functional pieces of equipment isn’t acceptable. To help make your job easier, here are a few features that should make up the best stethoscope for an EMT.
1. High Acoustic Sensitivity
The point of a stethoscope is to be able to hear patterns of the heart as well as anything that sounds a little odd within the body. A cheaply made stethoscope may not have crystal clear acoustics. This can make the EMT miss something vital in their initial diagnosis.
That isn’t acceptable. Instead, you should have a stethoscope that offers high acoustic sensitivity. This is a stethoscope that can pick up on the tiniest sounds within the body. This can make your diagnosing faster, more accurate, and potentially save your patient’s life.
2. Customizable Headset
One problem that a lot of EMTs and doctors face is a stethoscope that doesn’t fit them right. Not only does it make it uncomfortable to wear, but it also means it isn’t likely giving you the best sound quality. With a headset that doesn’t rest correctly in your ears, the sound isn’t being transferred correctly or efficiently.
This can make you miss something. That’s why the best stethoscope allows you to customize the length and width of the headset. With that customization, you can ensure that the stethoscope rests comfortably within your ears and also fits perfectly.
With the eardrums situated where they need to be, you’re more likely to detect something that is wrong.
3. Tear-Drop Design for Blood Pressure
For those who need to check blood pressure specifically, the best kind of stethoscope that you should acquire is one that has a tear-drop-shaped design. This specific design is great for detecting the blood pressure in a patient’s blood cuffs.
The shape is designed in such a way that it allows the sound of the blood pumping through the patient’s blood cuffs to be easily detected by the EMT. When you’re in a rush to save someone’s life, having the right kind of equipment that specializes in certain tasks is important.
Every EMT should have a stethoscope with a tear-drop-shape for taking blood pressure readings.
Another feature that many don’t consider is the stethoscope’s weight. Most EMTs carry them around their neck for quick use when they need it. A few might tuck it into their pocket. However, because they need to be ready to use their stethoscope at a drop of the hat, they’re more likely to wear it around their necks.
Weight is important because a heavy stethoscope will eventually wear the neck and shoulders down if you’re wearing it for a long period of time. It can cause you neck pain which can eventually turn into either a headache or back pain. This will make you less sharp in the field when you need to be at your sharpest.
To help yourself maintain that sharpness throughout your day, your stethoscope should be lightweight. Luckily, there are plenty of stethoscopes out there that are made of lightweight materials. Use one and notice the relief that you have when it stops weighing your neck down.
5. Different Bells/Diaphragms
As an EMT, you need to be ready to diagnose anything. Fumbling around for different tools can waste precious time. That’s why the best stethoscope should have numerous bells and diaphragms that you can easily switch between.
Each bell and diaphragm, depending on its size and shape, are great for a specific reading. You can easily switch between them depending on what reading you will perform.