I am stuck between which stethoscope to choose...

  1. Hello all,

    I am applying to three Nursing programs at different regional campuses through Kent State University (better chances of getting in next Fall 2012). I talked to the Director of the nursing program for one campus and she said that if I keep my grades up, I will be hearing from them next March to start the program in August. So I have been searching for the perfect stethoscope to purchase. I currently have a Littmann Lightweight ii S.E. that I used when I was an EMT-Basic in Michigan, let's just say I can't hear a thing with it. Everything is so faint, even taking bp's are difficult. I have heard that this is the worst scope Littmann has made and that it is a poor scope in general.

    Now I have done some research, online and through allnurses.com. The Littmann Cardiology III gets rave reviews from many people who have it and also there are a select few that say they still can't hear a thing with it. The people who say they can't hear a thing with the Littmann Cardio III say that the Ultrascope is the best scope they have ever used, but there are also people who say they can't hear with the Ultrascope but can with the Littmann cardio III. I know that each scope is different for everyone, so I understand that different things work for different people. I have also heard the Littmann Classic II S.E. is a great choice, but it's rating on the website is only 2 above the lightweight, the one I have now. Is it really that much better than the lightweight?

    So I am in a bind on which scope to purchase, Littmann Cardiology III, Ultrascope or Littmann Classic II S.E. I want to be able to hear things clearly, even when the room is not quite. Any guidance would be appreciated!

    Thank you so much for you help!

  2. Visit ColorfulStethoscope profile page

    About ColorfulStethoscope

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 45; Likes: 31
    RN; from US


  3. by   GonnaAmazeYou
    I have a Littman SE II and I love it, for school I think it is better because it has a bell and diaphragm and alot of the techniques you use, they show you with the traditional style. Plus when you have to do assessment tests with your instructor, you will have to verbally say "I am now using my bell" -- As for quality of sound I hear great with it!! I have not used the Cardiology series though, but I say buy the SE II and use the money you save by not getting the Cardiology series to buy the smaller pediatric version as well, because you will need both(or wish you had both) when you get to OB and Pediatrics.

    Good luck!!
  4. by   ColorfulStethoscope
    Thank you so much GonnaAmazeYou, I have heard great things about the Classic II S.E. and it seems it is a standard among nurses. I think I will just get that one and if I absolutely need a different one then so be it. I think I will buy a crazy colored one also. so it doesn't "grow legs".

    Thanks again,

  5. by   ColorfulStethoscope
    So I just dug up my cheapo $20.00 Prestige traditional sprague steth and I can hear SOOO much better with that rather than the Littmann Lightweight... UGH That aggravates me because the Littmann was WAY more expensive.. I hope Littmanns Classic II S.E. is better than my cheapo prestige. I am going to go the the uniform store today and check it out....
  6. by   AgentBeast
    A good rule is to avoid scopes with a plastic head. They are usually pretty lousy.
  7. by   ColorfulStethoscope
    I just received my Classic II SE in the mail. LOVE it! It is like night and day compared to the lightweight, I can hear so much better with it! =)
  8. by   LyssaZo
    I am also trying to make this decision and struggling with it. I got a Prestige Medical Clinical Classic as a gift and, though I was touched because my boss gave it to me in support of going to nursing school, I am bummed because I can't hear anything out of it! I think the main problem is that it is too heavy and actually blocks my ears more than it should. I know it's not a bad stethoscope, and I've even been told that it's better than the Littmann Classic II, but when I tried one of those it was night and day, just like you said.

    I haven't tried the Littmann Cardiology III, but that's what my school recommends. Does anyone else have opinions on the comparison of the two? Is the cardiology a lot heavier? Thanks!
  9. by   GonnaAmazeYou
    I'm glad you love your Littman! During my OB clinical last week I learned another awesome little cheat using my Littman. When you forget your hammer and need to test a patellar reflex you can use the head of your stethoscope(sideways) if you have a Littman SE II because it is not too heavy and the perfect size. My classmate used her prestige but wasn't able to get the reflex cause the head was too large and another tried the cardiology but it gets more narrow so it didn't hit correctly.
  10. by   GonnaAmazeYou
    One classmate has a cardiology series because she works as a paramedic and needed to hear in the back of truck with the loud background. She said in the class/hospital setting the sound is the same. I tried hers and could not tell a difference.
  11. by   MsPC
    Cardiology III is my go to. I am a nursing student, a student RN, and a medic in the military, as well as an emt and it serves all purposes well even in loud areas.
  12. by   May2013
    Love my Cardiology III for adults and peds!
  13. by   AgentBeast
    The Cardiology III seems to have a little heavier gauge spring in it so the ear pieces press a little harder into your ears providing a better seal. It does a better job of sealing out ambient noise than either my Master Classic II or the El-cheapo Prestige I own. The tubing in the Cardiology III is also a larger diameter.
  14. by   turnforthenurse
    I have both the Classic II S.E. (used it in nursing school) and the Cardiology III and I must say, I LOVE my Cardiology III! Acoustics are better and it's great for both adults and peds. I occasionally work down in the ER where we will see pedi patients so the Cardiology III has become very useful in that aspect