Stethoscope question - page 2

Hello all. I am a senior nursing student. I've had an "ok" regular stethoscope so far in nursing school. My boyfriend decided as one of my graudation presents he wants to get me a really nice... Read More

  1. by   kids
    Originally posted by MelissaCT
    Littmann, Ultrascope, ADC?! AAAAHH!

    Melissa
    I appreciate your scream...

    I would now take the reams of info you have been given and look at each brand/model suggested and look for the 'minor' qualities that YOU prefer...single/double tube, head types, weight, cost and color (remember, it is going to be a part of your 'uniform' for a VERY long time).

    Personally, I use a Littman Lightweight...I don't need to be able to hear gnats pass wind 3 rooms over, it suits my purposes from infants to adults, its light, has the very comfy ear tips and it doesn't cost a fortune to replace.

    -nancy
  2. by   mattcastens
    Originally posted by Rileycat
    Remember to keep your stethoscope on you at all times. The residents at my hospital are notorious for walking off with any stethoscope they see laying around. I set my Cardiology III down for 15 minutes....and poof...gone! Luckily my name was on it and it came back to me. The resident picked it up and thought it was hers. This can also be avoided by getting some abnoxious looking color scope that nobody would want.
    I always solve the problem by not setting my stethescope down where I can't keep a direct eye on it -- and if any doctor wants to borrow it, they have to give me either their watch or wallet for collateral. I've gotten a few raised eyebrows with that one, but I always get it back!
  3. by   Jenny P
    My all-time favorite stethescope was a Tycos triple headed cardiology scope which some how "walked away the end of June one year (end of resident rotation). I was the only one to have one of those where I worked; I know it was admired by many and someone walked off with it. My current stethescope is a Littman Cardiology II. I've also had a couple of generic ones in the past that were good enough for what I was doing at the time. I've been an RN for over 33 years and have had about 6 stethescopes; only 1 broke, 2 were stolen (or "walked off"), I use the Littman daily but I have a generic spare in my locker (just in case-the sound isn't as good as the Littman, but I may need it someday!) and I have a cheap one I won once, which is in my cars' first aid kit.
    I used to teach heart sounds, and in the beginning part of my class I'd talk about what type of stethescope to buy. Some of the info I found included that if the length of the tubes is greater that 18 inches, the sound quality would diminish (related to resonance), and you can cut the tubes on most stethescopes; the heavier the metal in the chest pieces would decrease the environmental noises in the room (ie: stainless steel is better than aluminum); most of the stethescopes on the market today come with both hard and soft eartips, try them both and see which is more comfortable for you. If the ear pieces don't fit your ears right, you can use an old fashioned ice pick placed into the metal end (eartips off) to gently bend the tube to your ears (I have one ear canal slightly higher than the other and couldn't get a decent "fit" until I did this). As far as one or 2 tubes, that is your preference, but if you chose a stethescope with 2 tubes, make sure they have metal tube stabilizers so that the 2 tubes don't rub together when you're trying to listen causing unnecessary noise. Clean your stethescope regularly; keep the tubing away from your skin (esp. around your neck) and it won't get stiff and hard; and broken parts can be replaced.
    As far as what brand to buy, go to a medical supply store and try a few to see which feels best to you. This is a very subjective thing for each person. If you work Peds, it isn't necessary to buy a triple header cardiology scope. If you work cardiology, get something that you can really HEAR heart sounds with. Pay a decent price for something that will be an extension of your body- a 3rd ear at work.
    I work CV-ICU and don't care for the electronic scopes myself. By quieting the environment (closing doors and pulling bedside curtains, which actually Do help muffle sounds in a room), repositioning the patient (arms down at sides, slightly turned to the left), listening from the right side and letting the tubing touch the pts. chest also helps amplify heart sounds, I am able to hear even the faintest rubs and murmers, often before the docs do.
    Hope this helps!
  4. by   MelissaCT
    Thank you!
  5. by   RNforLongTime
    I have a Littmann Master Classic. It is an excellent scope. I will never again use a sprague type stethoscope. My recommendation to you is to have your boyfriend get you a Cardiology III. You can get them off the internet for about 120 bucks. Godd Luck!
  6. by   MelissaCT
    Well, I had a chance to listen using my friend's Littmann Cardiology III.
    I compared it to my current Littmann, and maybe it was A TEENY bit louder, but that was the only difference I heard.
    ?
    Melissa
  7. by   Jenny P
    Good for you, Melissa, now try a few other types. And listen in different types of environments; both quiet and noisy rooms to see if that makes a difference in what you hear too.

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