Of the seminal moments in my life, Careers Day in the autumn of Year 5 is my favorite. Everyone had to dress as whatever they wanted to be once they grew up. I had gone in a tweed jacket and a bow tie, and when Miss Weston asked me what I wanted to be, I told her that I wanted to be the Doctor. 'Shouldn't you be wearing a lab coat and stethoscope like Paul?' She pointed to Paul Black, who was trying to strangle everyone with the stethoscope in question. Before I could answer, a boy I didn't know from the other class spoke up. 'Paul's a doctor, ' he explained, giving me a look of approval. 'He wants to be the Doctor.' 'Who?' 'Exactly, ' we said at the same time, relieved that she understood. She didn't. We were sent to the quiet table to reflect on why cheeking teachers was wrong.
You go into the book store, there's the cut-out of Dr. Phil, and then the dreaded women's health section where every book, instead of the menopause book with the fanged Medusa head on the cover that might be more pertinent, you always see a flower and a poppy and a daisy and a stethoscope.
Sandra Tsing Loh
I use a portable pocket ultrasound device instead of a stethoscope to listen to the heart, and I share it with the patient in real time. 'Look at your valve, look at your heart-muscle strength.' So they're looking at it with me. Normally a patient is tested by an ultrasonographer who is not allowed to tell them anything.
So by all means let's have a television show quick and long, even if the commercial has to be delivered by a man in a white coat with a stethoscope hanging around his neck, selling ergot pills. After all the public is entitled to what it wants, isn't it? The Romans knew that and even they lasted four hundred years after they started to putrefy.
Without direction, the respiratory technician goes to the head of the bed. She takes the tubing, attaches it to the oxygen, and turns it on as high as it will go. She provides a seal with her hand cupped over the plastic mask, over the nose and mouth of the toddler, and methodically provides oxygenated air. Doyle's tiny chest rises and falls while I listen with my stethoscope. I am reaching for another breathing tube. 'Fib!' Dr. Pedras feels for a pulse while another places gelled pads on her chest.
Each heartbeat begins with a single, electrical impulse, or "spark." The distinctive sound we hear through a stethoscope, or when we place our head on a loved one's chest, is the sound of the heart valves opening and closing in perfect synchronicity with each other. It is a two-party rhythm - a delicate dance of systole and diastole, which propels the heart's electrically charged particles through its chambers roughly every second of the day, every day of our lives.