Stethoscope for nursing school?

  1. So I know I'll need a stethoscope for nursing school, what brand do you recommend? Did your school require a certain color or were you allowed to pick? I currently have a Littmann 3 with black tubing and rainbow finish on the chestpiece on my Christmas wish list! :P
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   lehaley1989
    My school did not require a specific color or type of stethoscope, our instructors just encouraged us to test the school stethoscopes then get what we could afford before clinical. I did find that some of my classmates who bought cheaper stethoscopes often complained about difficulty hearing clear heart and lung sounds.

    I love my Littmann Classic III, and I think it's an awesome choice for nursing students. I did recently order a MDF stethoscope because I couldn't say no to the limited edition galaxy print they were selling, but it hasn't arrived yet. A handful of my classmates have MDF scopes and like them a lot. They can sometimes be slightly cheaper than a Littmann and they offer free replacement parts for the life of the stethoscope, which is kind of cool.
  4. by   akulahawkRN
    My school provided us with some relatively cheap Sprague style stethoscopes. Most of us bought our own and most of those were the entry-level Littmann Lightweight or the Littmann Select models. My own was (and still is) a Cardiology III that I got some 16 years ago when I was working as a Paramedic. As a student, you don't (and won't) need that level of performance. Unless you already have experience with using a steth, you won't likely really appreciate the difference in quality. In any event, most of what you will ever do (and need) with a stethoscope will easily be handled by a Littmann Select or Lightweight.

    If you have a tuned ear for sounds (like you're in music or something similar) you'll probably do well with a Classic II. I've been around the block once or twice and for me, I both need and appreciate a good stethoscope though I can easily use the disposable $4 single-sided units.

    Don't necessarily concern yourself with getting a good (and expensive) stethoscope for now. Concentrate on learning what sounds you need to hear and get good at listening for them. Then as you start looking for a job in your chosen field, you'll know how necessary a stethoscope will be. Some fields you'll use a steth a LOT and some very rarely. I'm an ED RN. I use mine quite a bit and mine has 2 bells so I do use the pedi side fairly frequently.

    Seriously just get a name-brand stethoscope in the $35-60 range and you pretty much can't lose. Just know the Sprague style steths can be very good but the suffer from extra noise from the tubes rubbing. If you can avoid that, they're not bad. It's hard to do... and that's why I advise you to avoid them, at least while learning.
  5. by   203bravo
    Quote from akulahawkRN
    My own was (and still is) a Cardiology III that I got some 16 years ago when I was working as a Paramedic.
    I received a Cardiology III many years ago when I finished Paramedic school and I also use it to this day.. just have had to replace the ear tips a couple of time.
  6. by   TruvyNurse
    I wouldn't recommend a pricy stethoscope during school. They get beat up in your bag and I had a few classmates have their nice Littman cardiology stethoscopes stolen. I got a mid level Prestige stethoscope and it did just fine. Wait till you graduate to treat yourself to a nice one.

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