When a patient comes in with an infection related diagnoses, efforts are often undertaken to keep that pathogen from spreading to other patient rooms. In British hospitals they’ve banned ties and long sleeves. At Happy’s hospital we place a dedicated stethoscope in the patient’s room which is then shared by all health care workers caring for the patient. And that stethoscope shall remain forever in that patient’s room.
At Happy’s hospital, the dedicated stethoscopes look like they were made in a Chinese toy factory. I know that the most important part of auscultation happens between the tips of the stethoscope, not the scope itself.. But there have to be some expectations that what you use has some real functionality.
*This blog post was originally published at A Happy Hospitalist*