Healthcare professionals have several tools in their arsenal to examine patients and offer them the proper care. Stethoscopes are a classic instrument and the first purchase for most nurse professionals. Provided you take good care of it, a stethoscope is a long-lasting tool. The problem? Not many healthcare professionals know how to care for their stethoscopes properly. Do you know how to clean your stethoscope?
Today’s post will be a quick guide to help you learn the importance of and how to clean your stethoscope.
The Parts of a Stethoscope
Let’s first familiarize ourselves with the different parts of the stethoscope. It consists of three parts:
Why You Must Clean Your Stethoscope
Several surveys have found that only 8% of nurses reported that they clean their stethoscopes after each patient assessment. Numerous studies also observed that stethoscopes could be contaminated with various microbes, which can be transferred to patients.
Heavily contaminated stethoscopes are dangerous to you and the patients you’re examining. Disinfecting your stethoscope thoroughly between patient examinations is crucial to protect your patients and yourself from various disease-causing germs.
How to Clean a Stethoscope
How to Clean the Earpieces
The earpieces are definitely a part of the stethoscope you must clean. They accumulate pathogens over time and are the part you’re in the closest contact with when examining patients. Keeping the earpieces clean is crucial to your safety. Cleaning the earpieces is simply a matter of thoroughly cleaning them with alcohol wipes or soapy water.
How to Clean the Diaphragm
The diaphragm is the part that makes contact with the patient, allowing you to hear different sounds by adjusting the pressure you apply to it. Since it’s the part making contact with your patients, it’s the likeliest to become contaminated. Cleaning the diaphragm is easy. Before and after each use, you can simply clean it with a soft fabric combined with alcohol or soapy water. Do ensure that you use fabric that will not scratch the diaphragm.
How to Clean the Tubing
The tubing is the most neglected part of this vital tool when it comes to keeping stethoscopes clean. While it rarely comes into direct contact with areas that can produce contamination, you must still clean it. Cleaning your stethoscope by using a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution with a soft fabric to rub the tubing is an excellent way to keep it clean.
You should properly dry your stethoscope after cleaning. Letting it air dry by placing it on a clean surface or drying it with a clean and dry cloth should do the trick.
Make sure you wash your hands before and after cleaning your stethoscope and store it in a protective case or bag after cleaning. Proper stethoscope cleanliness and maintenance is essential to being a caring and responsible healthcare professional. As a responsible nurse, you must also use nursing continuing education courses for recertification and expanding your skills.
Pursuing nursing education courses can help you become better equipped to provide quality patient care and education while progressing in your career. Online nursing CEUs like those offered at Fast CE For Less at https://fastceforless.com/ce-courses-for-nursing/ can be perfect for helping you expand your knowledge in your nursing field.