Playskool nursing??


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OK. So we all know that our patients are in isolation for a reason. They unfortunately possess one of the number of infectious pathogens that have the potential to contaminate and infect not only themselves, but the hospital staff and any and all visitors that happen to make direct or indirect contact with the patient.

So we place them in different levels of isolation precautions to minimize if not eliminate this possibility. We don the endless combination of gloves, gown and mask all for the sake of sterility and safety. Everything that is in the room stays in the room, and no object can come into the room and then leave the room due to the potential for spreading the infection.

All of our supplies are ‘isolated’.

We segregate anything we would need as well as have specially made supplies that go on the ‘isolation cart’ to care for these patients. Everything from the gloves, gown, mask and all other predicted supplies needed.

Including the ‘let’s pretend-play’ stethoscope.

yellow-plastic-stethoscopeOh, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The stethoscope that looks like it was stolen from the ‘Playskool’ catalog shelves. It even comes in the wonderful ‘Playskool’ colors of chalk-white and mustard-yellow.

I’m all for increasing our patient safety – but don’t you think these things should actually do the job they are made for?? It’s a stethoscope right? So conventional wisdom would have you believe that you should listen to heart and lung sounds with this ‘toy’ instrument right?


Have you ever TRIED listening to a patient’s heart or lungs with those darn things? Using that stethoscope is about as effective as banging your head against a wall to burn calories. While both get the job done, it’s a horribly painful and ineffective way of getting results.

Those darn yellow plastic stethoscopes in isolation rooms. Am I alone on this?

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8 Responses to Playskool nursing??

  1. Megan Gilbert RN

    So funny! I totally agree! As a student, I don’t know what I am listening for half the time and then they throw those things at us….not good at all. Oh and that yellow!!! Just a fashion no-no! haha

  2. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Megan Exactly! LOL

  3. Bev

    After 30 years of trying the infectious disease doctors and I just do the best we can. So of them just use their own equipment and wipe it down to be honest. Quality of that equipment could equate to the old west when “doc” put his ear directly on his patient’s chest to hear what was going on.

  4. Ginger Freeman

    I agree with you concerning the yellow plastic stethoscopes. I think that I could bring a child’s Playschool stethoscope and be able to hear better. I was beginning to think that I was alone complaining about the poor quality of the “pretend stethoscope”.

  5. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Bev I sometimes think the ‘old west’ method is more effective!

    @ Ginger You are not alone!

  6. Ani

    Seems like the REAL Playskool stethoscopes are better at picking up sounds than those things! @ megan – i agree, it’s hard enough finding what you’re looking for when you are a student, but then they throw these at us – it’s impossible! I had an instructor that taught us to tie a glove over the bell and just use our own steth. and then wipe it down (a lot!) afterward.

    I took care of a pt. on iso. precautions last quarter and I listened to his lung fields with my stethoscope and everything was diminished. so the nurse came in and listened with the iso steth, and when i later asked what she had heard she just looked at me and said, “oh i didn’t hear much of anything” – needless to say she charted that the lung fields were CTA… i didn’t.

  7. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Ani Yes I have started to do the same thing – using my own stethoscope and covering it up.

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