What is auscultation?

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dano7744's profile pic

dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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To auscultate means to listen, auscultation is the act of listening to body sounds with a stethoscope. The health care provider can and should auscultate many things. Heart tones or sounds can be auscultated, the examiner is listening for clicks, rubs, extra sounds, or missed beats. Cardiac murmurs can be heard if present. Lung or breath sounds can be auscultated, listening for rales, rhonchi. or wheezing. The carotid arteries can be auscultated listening for bruits. Bowel sounds can also be auscultated listening for any abnormal sound.

Keep in mind that auscultation is a skill and an art that is only learned by the novice after months and months of practice. You have to train your ears to pick up on normal and abnormal sounds. Some heart murmurs are very difficult to hear. It takes most people years of practice to correctly identify the various types of heart murmurs.

Don't get discouraged, be patient and continue to practice.

trophyhunter1's profile pic

trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Auscultation is when a doctor listens to the internal sounds of a patient, aided by a stethoscope. There are three areas that are examined.  The first is the lungs, listening for wheezing or other sounds that may indicate a problem. The next is the heart, listening for murmurs, irregular heart beat, heart rate, etc.  The last is the gastrointestinal system, listening for bowel sounds. Auscultation requires excellent listening skills and experience. It is used to help a doctor make a diagnosis. René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec (February 17, 1781 – August 13, 1826) coined the term auscultation and also invented the stethoscope in 1816.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Auscultation is the process of listening to the sounds made by different organs of the body as a means of ascertaining the state of health of a person and diagnosing illnesses. Organs of the body such as organs of the body, such as the heart, lungs, intestines, veins, and arteries make sounds that are different under different conditions of health. Listening to these sound make it possible to ascertain certain aspects of health of a person. Medical professionals use stethoscope to listen to these sounds more clearly.

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