Being a med student does have it perks, although it might take a while until you can actually define them. Sure, you will get to save lives at some point of your existence, but until then you will have to go through several years of painful studying and seriously stock on caffeine. Sleepless nights and no social life will become your new life motto for the following 5-6 years. Nevertheless, you will have to invest a considerable sum of money in acquiring medical tools, depending on your specializationâ€™s requirements. But no matter which type of doctor you choose to become, there are some medical instruments that you will always have to know how to handle â€“ from thermometers to cat scans, stethoscopes, needles and syringes, etc. And if you care about your finances and do not wish to replace these instruments more often than necessary, looking after them is a must. Read below how to deal with stethoscopes and, more importantly, how to prevent them from breaking.
What type of stethoscopes should you use?
This one, my friend, you will have to figure out on your own. There are plenty of options out on the market, including several reputed brands. ADC stethoscopes are quite cheap and are especially used by med students and interns in their first years of residency. But choosing the right stethoscope also depends on your specialization. Obviously, a pediatrician or a general practitioner will handle most of their patients by using stethoscopes while surgeons or neurologists, for instance, will require other types of medical instruments, and not necessarily stethoscopes. Thus, my advice is to first consider what type of medicine you want to practice from now on and inform yourself about the perfect types of stethoscopes. Never choose the top products because they can be quite expensive and, unless you take extra good care of them, you will end up replacing them in no time.
Keep away your stethoscope from extreme temperatures
If you want to rely on your stethoscope on your future auscultations, make sure you keep it away from extreme temperatures, whether high or low. They can severely damage your stethoscope and, in time, create problems with the tubing. A similar principle has to be applied when talking about direct sunlight exposure. Prolonged sunlight exposure might not only damage your tubing, but also the diaphragm and rings of your medical tool. As a general rule, store your stethoscope in cool and dark places, away from heating, cold or sunlight.
If sterilization of your stethoscope is a must, you can either use 70% isopropyl alcohol solution or use low temperature gas sterilization. Apply to a professional and do not do this on your own unless you absolutely master the skills and the equipment required. The best way to keep your stethoscope clean is to wipe it by using a soft cloth. Do not add any liquid or oils on it because these might damage your chest pieces. Mild water can also be used for cleaning.