Stethoscope selection

  1. Hi,
    I am a student and am wondering what Litmann stethoscope to get. I am deciding between the cardiology 3 the classic 3 and the classic 2 SE. I especially want to be able to hear bowel sounds. The cheap stethoscope I have now is not sufficient.

    Thank you
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Sherelle97
    I just started my nursing clinicals and I have the classic 3 and it is awesome!!
    I considered the cardiology, but was told that it was kind of overkill, especially as a student.
  4. by   ABBYJ010405
    Sherelle97,
    Thank you for your recommendation. I know I need a new stethoscope because my 15 dollar one is barely able to hear bowel sounds. Does the classic 3 work well for bowel auscultation?
  5. by   Sherelle97
    We have not done bowel auscultation in a clinical setting yet so I'm not positive. I know I had a lot of trouble with my old $20 stethoscope auscultating the apical pulse, but I hear it clearly even with a lot of background noise with my classic 3.
    Another thing to take into consideration, our ears are not "trained" to pick up everything while auscultating, so no matter which one you pick it's going to take time and practice.
    If you're really worried about picking the right stethoscope, you can always ask your professors, they know what works.
  6. by   LadyLeopard
    I use a Littman Classic III, and it's a very good stethoscope. They can be a bit pricey though (mine was a gift). In school I used the Classic II, which is also a good choice. Either of those would be fine for school.

    The cardiology scope is good but might be overkill.
  7. by   Zombie_NSG_Student
    Wooooweeee, a cardiology 3?!?! That's super pricy for a school stethoscope!
    Even if you can afford it, I would not recommend it. I had a doctor walk off with my 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. that was about $60. You will have people asking to borrow yours - I would not bring something into the facility as a student that was that precious - at least as an employee you'd have some pull to get it back.

    Also, speaking as a CNA, I have borrowed and used a nurses cardiology 3 and it is AMAZING....but way overkill! I had trouble taking the BP because I could actually hear their heart beat all the way from where I had the bell against their arm! I recommend the 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. I mentioned: it's nice enough I can hear all the breath and bowel sounds I need, but not so pricy that I cried when it walked off.
  8. by   Nonyvole
    The cardiology ones are usually overkill. At this stage, I'd go for the Classic III and practice in lab to learn how to best use the diaphragms. Because Littmann has this tunable diaphragm which combines a bell and a diaphragm - it takes a little bit of practice to know just how much pressure to use. But the advantage to the Classic III is that it has a pediatric/bell side and an adult side to the head.

    It's also a good scope that will last you years. I have one, but it's actually a back-up for me - my primary scope is a Master Cardiology. Which I do not recommend for a student just starting out. I lent it out to somebody and they were, quite honestly, surprised at the difference between their scope and mine. It's also very well labeled, not that that matters if somebody ends up walking off with it. (I have yet to meet a doctor that would have a limb restriction bracelet and fall risk bracelet on their stuff.)
  9. by   Thanksforthedonuts
    I personally bought the cardiology stethoscope because I have a hard time hearing with stethoscopes... and in general. I’ve had a lot of issues with ears and I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to hear with a standard stethoscope. My mom managed to keep the same one for 20+ years so I thought that I should be able to hold onto mine just as long. I love it! I’ve never had an issue with people “walking away” with it. I also never put it anywhere except around my neck or in my pocket.
    I can hear a lot better with it but sometime I have an issue picking up little things but that’s due to my own limitations, not the stethoscope.
  10. by   Landc
    If you do go with a littman go with the cheapest model - that's all you need for nursing school. Plus, nurses and residents will want to borrow your stethoscope and you will have to track them down to get it back. Get yourself a nice stethoscope as a graduation gift and make sure to get your name engraved on it! Hope, This comparison chart may help you out. Thanks
  11. by   Nonyvole
    Quote from Landc
    If you do go with a littman go with the cheapest model - that's all you need for nursing school. Plus, nurses and residents will want to borrow your stethoscope and you will have to track them down to get it back. Get yourself a nice stethoscope as a graduation gift and make sure to get your name engraved on it! Hope, This comparison chart may help you out. Thanks
    Having my name engraved on it didn't prevent my master cardiology from walking off, sadly. I was sad. I hope that it continues to serve its new owner well.

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