Cutting Corners - ss A Cardio 3 really necessary?


looking at the 3m littman buying guide it awards two pluses (recommended) for the classic ii se nursing stethoscope. why then are so many posts here discussing the littmann cardiology 3 stethoscope?

my budget is tight (whos isn't?) but i don't wan to compromise my career by cutting corners with my steth for training.

please help me decide which to get for training.

many thanks

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,229 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

I think for training purposes the Littman Classic II is just fine. The only reason I have invested in anything more is that I work in renal and listening to lung sounds and heart tones when a pt has a permacath and is dialyzing is very difficult.

Good luck in school.


13 Posts

There are indeed many sensibly priced alternatives to Littmann - especially stethoscopes from DRG/Trimline (PureTone), MDF (ER Premier) and Riester (cardiophon and tri-star).

An internet search should provide you with the best prices available, just remember to factor in shipping charges!

Jaguar Boy

183 Posts

try a search of the steth forum was really helpful to me. good alternatives seem to be and grxmedical. I got a cardiology from grx medical on and it seems to be quite good.


977 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, ER, OR.

No a Card III stethoscope is not the one you have to get. You should try out some by going to a nursing home, hospital, etc. and ask the staff if you can "borrow" theirs for just a few moments. I know I would lend mine for a few minutes if I knew it was coming right back. I own a Card III scope and love it. The best money i ever paid ($135) but i don't use it at workl I am keeping it as a backup. I currently use a Littman Select ($40) and it suits me just fine. I would even be ok with using an off-brand or a sprague as long as I know the job is going to get done. We have many nurses in our ICU and ER who don't use cardiac stethoscopes, and they do their job just fine. try some out to see what works for you and run with it. Don't spend lots of mulah unless you know you are satisfied.


3,362 Posts

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

I bought a cardiology scope from the's their brand. Works very well and is only 25 bucks. Beats paying over 100 bucks for a littman. It's not necessary to have an expensive stethoscope some of the cheaper ones work just as well.

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