Can one of you experienced nursing students give me a little information on buying a stethoscope. Should I bite the bullet and buy a good one now (I will be starting the ADN nursing program in August) or just buy the one in the bookstore? When do we start using the stethoscopes, right off the bat or later? I have been told to buy the best I could afford now, it will pay off in the long run, what do you all think?
May 16, '01
Hi, Sara. I highly recommend buying the best possible stethoscope you can afford at this point. When I was in nursing school, I bought a cheap one and can tell you that having one of better quality can make a world of difference. It's hard enough to identify heart and lung sounds when you are inexperienced at it, buy one of better quality, you won't be sorry!
May 16, '01
I will be starting an ADN program in August. I was wondering if someone could reccommend a brand of stethoscope to use in clincals.
May 16, '01
When I first started nursing school, I had a cheap stethoscope--One day I forgot it and had to borrow a friends Littmann--What a difference it made! I could hear heart, lung and bowel sound so much better. When you are trying to hear something you've never heard before, the louder the better. Also the soft ear tips are less painful than the cheap ones. I went out that same day and purchased one. They are somewhat expensive ranging from $40.00 and up but they are worth it. The cheapest I have seen them is at Uniform City--(www.uniformcity.com) Good Luck!
May 17, '01
Just got done with 3rd semester of LPN school in MN and am well on my way to relaxing for a little bit. Anyhow, I blew the bucks on a Littman Classis II SE (@60$$$). I like it a lot because I figure if it's there I'll hear it even if I don't know exactly what it means and the earpieces are REALLY nice. BUT, you don't need it right away and if you get a pt in isolation you won't be bringing in your fancy Littman, you'll be using whatever is in the room which could be close to a school lab one. SO, practice with the cheap ones in school to get used to them in case you ever have to use one and then go get a fancy one for clinicals to be nice to yourself and check out the Littman website for links to auscultation sites so you can hear examples of actual sounds.
May 17, '01
I was doing a price check on Littmann Stethoscopes. I found a website that has the scopes starting as low as $33.95 + $7.95 for shipping and handling. The web address is www.estethoscope.com.
Just a heads up to anyone who is interested.
May 18, '01
Because listening to different sounds is such an important skill you need a stethescope with the ability to let you listen properly. Along those lines I would recommend a pot belly scope or a magnetic scope, (can u tell I worked EMS). both of these can be found at
I prefer the pot belly scope, and it is so ugly you will never have to worry about it "walking away". That is until you let other people use it!
May 21, '01
I like the littmann cardio III with the peds and adult bell. Especially if you have an interest in peds for later. You may need the actual bell for nursing school though but some come with adapter. I bought a Litmann electronic digital steth $395 you can hear the lungs, heart, and abd in one spot and is cool because it comes with bragging rights but not really worth the money..If you lose it .... Get a good littman cardio III if you want peds bell or cardio II se for general purposes. Is worth it. You can get a cardio II on ebay for probably $30.
May 22, '01
A double lumen sprague stethoscope works just fine. More important than the type of stethoscope you use in school is that you practice and learn to identify sounds. These are good for school because they come with interchangeable diaphragms and bells for peds and adults. You can use it in any clinical rotation.... some of my friends borrowed mine occasionally in peds and OB.
The sound quality is good and it only costs $20-$30 depending on where you find it. Bottom line the price difference between a Sprague and and a Littman (Classic or masterclassic) is as much as a textbook or a good clinical handbook. You can always buy a nicer one when you are working and you know exactly what you need (I work in OB and still use my sprague stethoscope because it works just fine and I can use one stethoscope on mom and baby).
Dec 16, '04
I had a Littmann classic II SE and loved it... that is, until my brat of a dog chewed straight through the tubing. Guess I know what I'm getting myself as a late Christmas present (clinicals start back Jan 17th).. .
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