5 Everyday Tools Doctors Use That Everyone Should Know

5 Everyday Tools Doctors Use That Everyone Should Know
In modern-day medicine, tools are essential in helping doctors understand what patients complain about and in improving the effectiveness or speed of their treatment.

Just the same way engineers have access to more modern and advanced tools to carry out their roles, doctors also have access to special devices that make work easier.
In this article, I will be explaining 5 everyday tools that you can find in many doctors offices, their functions and how they make life easier for the doctors.

Five Everyday Tools Doctors Use That Everyone Should Know:

These are some of the tools doctors use we all should know about:

1. Stethoscope:

It will be terribly wrong if we mentioned any other device before this because this is the most popular piece of equipment you can find in a doctor’s office. It is seen as the symbol of the medical profession by many and a tool most physicians are very proud to be associated with. You can find stethoscopes in the offices, homes, cars and even bags of many doctors.
A stethoscope is used to listen to body sounds, it isolates and amplifies these sounds, and transmits them to the doctor’s ears. Traditional stethoscopes have a headset, a tubing, and a chest piece. The chest piece contains a very sensitive diaphragm that picks up vibrations and sounds, transmitting these through the tubing to the headset.
There are so many brands available today, but the best stethoscope brand is the Littmann stethoscope.
There are also the digital stethoscopes that use additional technology to amplify sound, record it and even transmit these sounds to a nearby smartphone.
Doctors commonly use stethoscopes to listen to lung, heart and bowel sounds.

2. Sphygmomanometer:

They are devices used to measure blood pressure. It usually comes in two types: analog and digital.
The popular analog one has a manually inflatable cuff that constricts the arm, it then uses a manual gauge (like mercury) to depict blood pressure readings. The doctor then needs to use a stethoscope to listen for special sounds while staring at the gauge to decide what the blood pressure is.
Nowadays, it is a lot easier, there are digital blood pressure monitors that are AC or battery powered. All you need to do is to place the cuff around a person’s arm and then push a button. The machine automatically pumps air into the cuff, inflating it and constricting the arm.
The cuff contains sensors that are able to pick up the correct systolic and diastolic blood pressures, then transmits this result to a digital screen.
The digital ones are far more convenient to use than the manual ones, and fairly accurate too.

3. Measuring Tape:

Who would think that a measuring tape will feature on this list? But the truth is that doctors find this simple tool invaluable.
In medicine, objectivity is important. You can’t just write down that a swelling is ‘big’ or ‘large’, doctors have to mention the exact length, width, and height.
For example, when a woman is pregnant, doctors use measuring tapes to calculate the length of her bump, this information is used to analyze how well the fetus is growing per time.
Also if a person has a tumor or cut, doctors have to measure the exact length or diameter, so that they can properly decide the appropriate steps to take. This information also comes in handy when they need to refer the patient to another colleague so that the other colleague can know the size of the swelling at a glance.

4. Otoscope:

An otoscope is a device used to peep into the middle ear of a patient.
When a patient has a complaint that is centered around their ear- whether it is an ear discharge, ear pain or even a ringing sound in the ear, an otoscope is used to look into the ear canal and middle ear. Doctors can actually see the eardrum using this device, they can then make a diagnosis based on what they’ve seen.
It is commonly seen in most consulting rooms but mostly used by otolaryngologists (also called ENT doctors).

5. Tongue Depressor:

If a patient has a complaint relating to the throat, like a sore or itchy throat, doctors use a tongue depressor to push down the tongue in order to visualize the back of the mouth and throat.
Using a light source and a tongue depressor, doctors can also see the tonsils quite clearly.
This device can be useful when diagnosing conditions like pharyngitis, tonsillitis and tonsil stones.


We have been able to look through 5 common tools that are usually found in doctor’s consulting rooms, so that next time you’re in one, you can proudly say to yourself: “I know what that is used for”.

One important takeaway for you from this write up is for you to learn to ask. Curiosity really doesn’t do you any harm. You can always ask your doctor what he or she is looking for, listening for, or about to do, you’ll be able to then know better what their treatment plan for you is.

Editor's Review
This is a guest post by Dr. Charles-Davies of 25 Doctors. You too can submit yours.

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