Being a doctor, nurse or potential physician who has some degree of hearing loss is challenging. Finding the best stethoscope for hearing impaired medics can be frustrating. When you are hard of hearing, you still want to measure up to the standards of medics without hearing challenges.
Whether you have hearing aids like a cochlear implant or not, using a stethoscope can be troubling. That is why we have reviewed the best stethoscopes for the hearing impaired. In our review, we guide you on how to choose a stethoscope that will offer the best auscultation experience.
Best Stethoscope for Hearing Impaired Clinicians
Like when choosing regular stethoscopes, consider your requirements of the stethoscope you want to buy. Generally, hearing impaired stethoscopes have a variety of options that make listening easy. Using a stethoscope correctly is a skill that even medics with no hearing challenge struggle with in the beginning.
Which are the best amplified stethoscopes for hearing impaired? Which stethoscope for hearing aid weare should you buy? The best stethoscope for hearing loss is the Thinklabs One Digital Stethoscope.
Thinklabs One Review: Best Stethoscope for the Hearing Impaired
Thinklabs One stethoscope is manufactured by Thinklabs Medical in Centennial, CO. This popular digital stethoscope is the smallest, most powerful electronic stethoscope in the world.
The Thinklabs One provides exceptional sound quality thanks to the patented electromagnetic diaphragm technology that it uses. Its sound is amplified more than 100 times of the traditional stethoscope. This makes the One the best stethoscope for hearing impaired clinicians.
The Thinklabs One stethoscope works with hearing aids. It has various options for different hearing aid styles and earphones. Therefore, you won’t be bothered to remove them when using the stethoscope. You can also use the stethoscope with a streamer and headphones. However, the stethoscope is so loud that you may not even need a hearing aid or anything else to amplify lung, heart and other body sounds.
Generally, hearing aids do not do a good job at reproducing bass sounds. Therefore, you won’t get the direct benefit of the huge power output of the Thinklabs One if it has to go through the hearing aid. To get the best quality sound with the One, make sure your hearing aid is programmed for maximum bass.
If you have an open-fit hearing aid, you can use the One with headphones. You need a good pair of headphones to get the best results from the stethoscope. The headphones should be comfortable and have a good bass response.
Today, more hearing impaired clinicians are opting to use stethoscopes with a headphone instead of the old-fashioned tube stethoscope. Therefore, you won’t need to feel conspicuous when using the One. Moreover, your patients will think you have the coolest stethoscope.
You can connect the Thinklabs One to a streamer (wireless transmitter) that is worn around the neck and has a wireless connection to your hearing aid. Most hearing aid companies offer such streamers. The One comes with a set of cables for streamer connections. You can also connect a Bluetooth transmitter to transmit from the One to the streamer. However, for the best sound quality and simplicity, you should sue a direct cable connection.
The Thinklabs One comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. This is enough time for you to work with your audiologist and try the One in a clinical setting. If the stethoscope does not help you hear better, you can return it for a full refund. The stethoscope is a powerful solution for hearing impaired nurses and doctors.
If you are looking for more information about The One Digital stethoscope, check the Amazon page of the company. Also, read reviews of nurses with hearing impairment to find out what they think of the electronic stethoscope.
Why You Need a Hearing Loss Stethoscope
Medical professionals use stethoscopes to hear sounds from internal body organs like the heart and lungs. Steths help them detect any malfunctioning of the organs that might cause health problems.
Even nurses need stethoscopes when checking blood pressure and counting the pulse.
If you are a veterinarian, you need a stethoscope to listen to the pets’ digestive tracts. This will enable you to know the problems of the pets since they cannot communicate.
As you can see, you need a stethoscope as long as you are in the healthcare profession. And hearing loss is not a problem that should make you give up on your profession.
What if you have severe hearing problems? Can you use a stethoscope with cochlear implants or other hearing aids?
Stethoscopes for Hearing Impaired Doctors
Stethoscopes for hearing impaired doctors come with a number of options. These options depend on a number of factors, including:
- If you have a hearing aid and want to continue wearing it while using the stethoscope. It is possible to auscultate with the hearing aid. However, the hearing aid might need to be custom designed.
- The type of hearing aid that you have. There are two types of hearing aids: the custom-made type and the BTE type.
- What features does your hearing aid have? The features can include a t-coil, streamer and others.
Audiologists look at these features to evaluate the patients’ needs.
Best Stethoscope for Hard of Hearing
So, which is the best stethoscope for bad hearing?
You will never find a stethoscope that addresses all your concerns. Therefore, look for one that meets most of them.
There are a number of crucial things, identified by The Association of Medical professionals with Hearing Loss, which you should consider to use the stethoscopes effectively.
Some hearing devices can be manually tuned to boost the frequency (enhance low frequency). Hearing gadgets like cochlear implants also have features that can increase the hearing sound required while reducing background noise simultaneously.
There is no guarantee that using an amplified stethoscope will make auscultation perfect. However, it is the best option for doctors with bad hearing.
Alternative Stethoscopes for Hearing Aid Users
There are alternative options for those who don’t want to auscultate with a hearing implant. These alternatives are highly efficient.
- i) You could go for an amplified stethoscope with earpieces.
- ii) You could go through a medical procedure to have any of these outcomes:
- The tips of the traditional stethoscope’s listening end could be replaced with the tips of the stethomate.
- Use headphones while wearing a hearing instrument during auscultation.
- Purchase specially designed ear molds that interface perfectly between the earpiece and the stethoscopes CICs.
Amplified Stethoscopes vs. Traditional Stethoscopes
Unlike conventional stethoscopes, most amplified stethoscopes are specially made for physicians with a slight hearing loss but who don’t need hearing aids. If you are already using a hearing aid, or it has been recommended to use one, then amplified steths will not be ideal for you.
If you want electronic stethoscopes but can’t operate without a hearing aid, you will need to get the stethoscopes amplified even further. Moreover, the stethoscopes and the hearing aids should be compatible. The compatibility will depend on the style and type of hearing aid that you have.
Conventional stethoscopes are acoustic stethoscopes that have natural amplification. These are used by healthcare practitioners with normal hearing.
However, medics with normal hearing are not prohibited from using amplified stethoscopes for hearing impaired. However, for them, the amplification will be boosted beyond the normal. Amplified or hearing aid stethoscopes are also perfect for use in extremely loud or busy environments.
Doctors that use hearing aids have a lot of options to choose from in terms of stethoscopes. To find the best stethoscope for hearing impaired medics, consider:
- The available hearing aid sets
- The configuration that’s best for your condition
- The severity of your hearing loss
Complex situations will arise when you have to communicate with your patients via a hearing aid but have to use an acoustic stethoscope. This will mean having to take off the hearing aid while auscultating and then put it back on for communication.
There is also another way in which you can communicate and auscultate concurrently while using the conventional stethoscope. You will have to modify the stethoscope such that it acoustically connects the bore within the ear molds.
While both of these options are good, some people will find them uncomfortable.
Again, there is no such thing as the best electronic stethoscope for hearing impaired. Some doctors will have no option but to use a hearing aid on every occasion.
You can also use an audio input coupling system or direct Bluetooth system on the digital or electronic stethoscopes.
How Will This Work?
You will have to consult your audiologist to help you determine the best option for you. The audiologist can work directly with hearing aid manufacturers and will have to consider factors such as compatibility with electronic cables.
Overall, your specific circumstance should guide you on how to use a stethoscope properly to correctly diagnose your patients.
Choosing the Right Hearing Aid
You should work with your audiologist to evaluate and decide on the best hearing aid for your specific case. Here are some things to consider:
Quality of the hearing aid
Do your homework thoroughly. Get recommendations from actual users and research different hearing aids online to avoid being frustrated.
Your budget will help you determine the hearing aid type, style and model to choose. Choose a quality and cost-friendly device.
Type of stethoscope
Choose a stethoscope based on your needs. If you’re more about beautiful designs, simply go for it.
Medical practice is a busy profession. It will be frustrating having to buy replacements every other time. To avoid this, choose a high-quality hearing aid. Don’t forget to also look at reviews of various hearing aids to find a suitable one for you.
There are many medical professionals with hearing problems that undertake their duties like other normal hearing medics. The advancements in technology, for example, more advanced hearing aids and cochlear implants, have made it even easier doctors with hearing impairment to work normally.
The Thinklabs One is the best amplified stethoscope for hearing impaired nurses and doctors on the market. The stethoscope provides excellent acoustics and magnifies the sounds by more than 100 times that of the traditional stethoscope. Moreover, it is designed to be used with a variety of hearing aids, earphones and headphones.