Medical professionals rely on auscultation to routinely examine the status of the circulatory, respiratory, and/or gastrointestinal systems. Auscultation is defined as listening to internal sounds of the body and represents an essential component in the delivery of health care services. The procedure is accomplished via a stethoscope, a medical device specifically designed to enable physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to detect and analyze heart, lung, and/or bowel sounds. The art of auscultation not only requires a level of clinical skill, but also assumes the presence of optimal listening conditions that enable clinicians to hear what needs to be heard.
For medical professionals with hearing loss, routine use of traditional stethoscopes creates several challenges. The good news is there are viable solutions available, however, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach as various aesthetic and/or technological limitations may serve as barriers to the management process. The best approach to finding a viable solution is to rely on resources. The Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) provides information, promotes advocacy, and offers a support network of hearing healthcare professionals with hearing loss. Tomorrow, AudiologyOnline will offer a free-to-view live webinar entitled Amplified Stethoscope Options for Professionals with Hearing Loss presented by A.U. Bankaitis of Oaktree Products. If you can’t make it, no worries! Browse AOL’s CEU-Total Access Library to view a recorded session.
Be sure to take advantage of other resources via the Ask The Expert series on AudiologyOnline. There is a nice summary provided by Dr. Samuel Atcherson addressing Options for Using a Stethoscope with Hearing Aids. Linn Tearney of Cochlear Americas addresses Using a Stethoscope with a Cochlear Implant. Check out the short posts addressing Bluetooth Amplified Stethoscopes and Stethoscope Solutions for Hearing Aid Wearers. These short pieces of information may be a great addition to your resource library.