Should I keep this stethoscope??

  1. Hi to all! I begin my clinicals in the fall. A friend of mine gave me asteth. to use or I could by it from her. This was her uncles and it is in VERY good condition. It is a Sprague steth. , 5 stethoscopes in 1. Everyone seems to like Littman's though. Should I buy the Sprague or go by a new one of my own?? What kind is the best and if I do buy the sprague how much should I pay for it?? I have done BP readings on my family w/ this steth. and still have some trouble hearing, but I am also just not used to doing BP readings. Is there a better one out there? I have the money so that is really not an issue. Thanks for any input. Becky
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    Originally posted by Rebecca Fleissner:
    Hi to all! I begin my clinicals in the fall. A friend of mine gave me asteth. to use or I could by it from her. This was her uncles and it is in VERY good condition. It is a Sprague steth. , 5 stethoscopes in 1. Everyone seems to like Littman's though. Should I buy the Sprague or go by a new one of my own?? What kind is the best and if I do buy the sprague how much should I pay for it?? I have done BP readings on my family w/ this steth. and still have some trouble hearing, but I am also just not used to doing BP readings. Is there a better one out there? I have the money so that is really not an issue. Thanks for any input. Becky
    Here is my opinion on stethoscopes. I have always wanted an expensive one but I never would spend the money. You want to know why? Because they walk out the door around the necks of physicians. About 12 years ago I had a chance to but some inexpensive spragues for about $7 a piece. I bought five. I have one left.

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  4. by   Youman
    I have a spragues myself and find it to be very good. I was able to get the nursing set with the scissors, penlight and a carrying pouch for about $25. As for having problems hearing the heart beat you might want to play with the placement of the earpieces. I hope this helps, best of luck to you in school
  5. by   hollykate
    In general, I have not liked the Spragues I have borrowed, and really like my Littman, but everyone is different. I also had the problem of residents and interns "borrowing" scopes, I have put a flowerey "scope coat" on my stethoscope- not only does the rubber not pull my hair out anymore if I hang it around my neck, but none of the male docs have tried to run off with it. Borrow a couple before you buy. It may only be the earpieces, as "youman" said earlier. If I had the money, and I felt like my stethoscope wouldn't walk off, I would go for a Littman Cardiology- they are maybe 130-160.00.
  6. by   JillR
    I use a sprague and I love it. We have the expensive Littmans on our ambulances and I hear better with my sprague. Use what you are comfortable with. If you cant afford a littmans then don't but one. I bought my sprague about three years ago for $25.00. I have used other peoples Littmans at work and I don't see a huge difference and I have heard that they do tend to grow legs and walk when you are not looking.
  7. by   LLDPaRN
    I think you need to find a stethoscope you're comfortable with. I personally would recommend a Littman if you can afford it. As far as it "growing legs", a Sprague can do that just as well as a Littman; you just have to keep track of your scope, regardless of what you have. Take care, and I hope you have a great clinical experience!

    Laurie
  8. by   travelingtweety
    What a great friend to give you that sprague. I love my Littman but I used a sprague all thru nursing school without any problems. The first Littman I had was a family gift upon my graduation. Start dropping hints now, and maybe one will show up in your Christmas stocking. Good luck to you.
  9. by   Genista
    If you like the stethoscope, then keep it! I have a sprague-rappaport stethoscope (Hewlett Packard). It was a gift, and I LOVE it.Great sound! I never set it down @ work. I carry it w/ me, always. MDs may borrow it once in awhile, but I keep track of who borrowed it. I have had it 4.5 years now (through nursing school) & never lost it once. If you have a tendency to be forgetful, maybe a cheapie would be smart.But personally, nice stethoscopes are so much better, and I'm willing to make the effort not to lose track of them.
  10. by   P_RN
    Sprague's have always seemed a little clumsy to me. For BPs you only need a cheapie Fisher-Price toy type. As for breath and heart sounds I like my Littman MCIII. I bought it from an intern for $25.00 when he needed lunch money. I wish I'd bought the oto/ophthalmoscope too!

    Get what you LIKE and don't worry. BUT you NEVER lend it to any doc UNLESS they give you a shoe or a billfold for security......and believe me I've made them do it. My scope always returned. It may be the GREY hair all the fact they all called me ma'am though.

    Check out the AMA msAMA page for retail prices....you can get them for less elsewhere.

    http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/msj...o_21/equip.htm
  11. by   BrandyBSN
    I would not recommend spragues. I personally can not hear ANYTHING through them if there is any background noise at all.

    I was a bass player in jazz band in high school, and being that close to the drums has damaged my left ear enough that I have quite a bit of hearing loss. I have a Littman Cardiology III, and absolutely love it. I do have a steel reinforced name tag so that it cant be cut off (or pulled). I also have my name engraved on the ear pieces, big enough that I can see it from several yards away. I also do not let anyone borrow it. Its my baby, and around my neck at all times. If you have the money, get the best!
  12. by   redhedgoddess
    Go with the inexpensive and adequate until you know where you'll be and what kind of sound you'll need. We nurses view our stethescopes the way 17 year olds view their cars: status symbols. Forget the status symbol thing and go with what's practical for you. Sprague got most of us thru school and beyond. Then, from an experienced point of view, knowing for what you'll be using your stethescope, upgrade as you need and can afford.

    Our favorite stethoscope on the unit is a nasty, faded $10. cheapie called "Lucky" that we take to every C-section: she's over 10 years old and hasn't failed us yet!
  13. by   Jenny P
    Stethescopes can run from the cheapo $7.00 one up to several hundred dollars, and it doen't matter if it is a Littman, Sprague, or any other brand. My most expensive one was a Tycos triple header--- which developed legs and walked off the last week of June many years ago and hasn't been seen anywhere since.
    You said this one had 5 heads; what did your friends' uncle do? I can figure out why there would be up to 4 different interchanngable heads for a stethescope (peds and adult sized bells and diaphragms) but what on earth would the 5th head be for? My Tycos actually had 3 heads on the chest piece, so I had an adult diaphragm on at all times and an adult and peds bell. It made it easier to hear friction rubs and murmurs, especially on skinny elderly patients with mitral valve problems.
    Try several stethescopes out on heart and lung sounds in a lot of different settings-- even try it on kids in a car if at all possible. BPs aren't the thing for honing listening skills; you are just interested in hearing the Korotkoff sounds then. Remember, you can bend ear piece tubing slightly if you ears aren't even. And there are several types of ear pieces- find some that are comfortable for YOU. I've traded ear pieces with co-workers because of opposite personal preferences- I like one style, she likes the other.
    Remember, your stethescope is an instrument you will (hopefully) be working with for years and making assessments with. Try several out and find one that is a good fit for you--- then brand it so no one else will ever walk off with it!!!!!

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