How to Use a Stethoscope

How to Use a Stethoscope

Recently bought a stethoscope or looking for how to use a stethoscope? We are going to walk you through on how to use a stethoscope.¬†BV Medical¬ģ has¬†been enhancing customers' health since 1989. We are here to help provide you information to ensure you¬†feel confident and reassured about using your stethoscope.

A stethoscope is a medical instrument for detecting sounds produced in the body that are conveyed to the ears of the listener through tubing connected with a piece placed upon the area to be examined.

Types of Stethoscopes

Single-Head Stethoscope. These stethoscopes have one side for you to pick up sounds. Single-head stethoscopes are very common and may or may not be the best choice depending on your needs.

Dual-Head Stethoscope. Just like the name, there are two sides to the chestpiece. Most likely they include a bell (the smaller circular side) and diaphragm (the wider circular side). They allow you to listen to different frequencies depending on the side you use. The bell is able to pick up on lower frequency sounds, while the diaphragm is better able to pick up on higher frequency sounds.

Sprague Rappaport. This is a multi-functional stethoscope. You can change the chestpiece to be used for infant, pediatric, or adult use. These stethoscopes should come with additional pieces for you to switch out bells and diaphragms. Think of a Sprague Rappaport as an all-in-one stethoscope. 

How to Use a Stethoscope

Align Your Ear Pieces

Check your ear pieces. Make sure the earpieces are facing forward. If you look at your ear pieces and they are pointing forward at an angle then you got it! You won't be able to hear anything if you put them on backwards. 

Your ear pieces should have a snug fit. Make sure they are not too tight or loose. You can find replacement ear pieces online. Search for, "stethoscope ear pieces," "stethoscope ear tips," or "stethoscope eartips" when looking for replacements. Check if they are compatible with your stethoscope too. Some are specially made for certain types of stethoscopes.

Adjusting Your Stethoscope

You know what stethoscope you are using and you have aligned your ear pieces. Now what? It is time to make your adjustments. 

  • Lightly tap on the diaphragm of your stethoscope to make sure you can hear (very lightly since some stethoscopes are sensitive).
  • If you can't hear then you can turn the entire chestpiece. Some stethoscopes have a open and close mechanism where they will open the tubing only to one side of the chestpiece.¬†
  • Readjust your ear pieces and chestpiece to ensure you are able to hear.

Using the Stethoscope

You want to be in a quiet environment when using a stethoscope. Depending on the exact area of use of the stethoscope you want to ensure you are able to hear properly. You will get the best sound if you are placing the chestpiece onto bare skin rather than through clothing. You can listen to the following:

  • Abdominal
  • Blood Pressure
  • Heart¬†
  • Lungs

Where to Buy Stethoscopes

You can find stethoscopes from manufacturers, drug stores, retailers, online, and more. Prices vary from place to place. Research before purchasing and buy from a place you trust. 

BV Medical¬ģ¬†is a small business who offers a variety of BV Medical¬ģ branded stethoscopes and is¬†a Reseller of 3M Littman¬ģ which is a trusted¬†stethoscope¬†brand in the industry. We are here for you! If you have any questions or concerns about¬†stethoscopes then we would be happy to assist you. We know how vital it is to ensure you are buying the best¬†stethoscope for you!¬†

If you have any questions or concerns then don't hesitate to email us at or call us at (888) 822-8293 to connect with one of our Customer Service Representatives. Where people can reach people.



Grais I. M. (2013). Proper use of the stethoscope: three heads and one tale.¬†Texas Heart Institute journal,¬†40(2), 120‚Äď122.
How to Use a Stethoscope. Corsilles, Michael ND. WikiHow. January 20, 2022. 
Learn How to Listen. 3M Littmann. 2022. 
Stethoscope. Dictionary, Merriam-Webster. April 21, 2022.

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