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Expensive stethoscope for student?

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by hellofish hellofish (New Member) New Member

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I have a master cardiology and nobody had "judged" me for it. I had no idea what it "was", my father bought it for me as a gift BEFORE I started my program. My husband has the same stethoscope (he's been a PA for several years, and when HE got it, he actually had it sent to him on accident and the company let him keep it, and of course he had no regrets!), and loves it, so my dad got it for me.

I have personally been able to pick up on "odd" noises much more quickly than my classmates, but that could just be luck. I haven't had anyone treat me any differently because of it (that I can notice anyways). I usually have it in my pocket anyways.

It's engraved with my (very unique, thanks dad!) last name, which I highly recommend.

Judging someone by their stetho seems just as ridiculous to me as judging someone by something like their wedding jewelry, or $140 danskos vs. $20 walmart clogs. Would I notice? Yes. Would I care? no.

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CelticGoddess has 6 years experience.

20 Likes; 1 Follower; 11,080 Visitors; 879 Posts

I would get a cheaper one for now. Not because you'll look obnoxious but because I had my stethoscope disappear (I found it around the neck of a resident about a month later) If you do use that one, make sure your name is on it and do NOT let it out of your sight.

Honestly, no one is going to care about your stethoscope, unless they need to borrow it. And like I said, don't let it out of your sight!

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2,880 Visitors; 194 Posts

Don'tlend it to any residents who "forgot theirs and need yours quick" you won't see it again.

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373 Visitors; 16 Posts

I went to CNA class with a person that had a fancy stethoscope and BP cuff. She talked constantly about it, just don't that person.

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akulahawkRN has 3 years experience as a ADN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Emergency Department RN.

16 Likes; 26,987 Visitors; 3,430 Posts

I'm beginning nursing school and was given a Littman Master Cardiology stethoscope as a gift. I'm concerned I'll look very obnoxious carrying it around, especially since I'm just starting out. Is that a legitimate concern, or will no one care?

I have never judged a person solely by what stethoscope was used, often because when the person is "new" to the field, the expensive steths were often a gift. I have a Cardiology III stethoscope that has been at my side for about 16 years. I'm quite wary of lending this steth out because it's not cheap to replace, nevermind the sentimental value of having this particular one with me for so long...

What I generally suggest is getting a good mid-range steth ($30-$60) as those will usually give decent acoustic performance for you to learn with all while being relatively easy on the pocketbook. Once you know what you're listening for, you'll appreciate the capability of the high-end steths and you'll also be able to compensate for the low quality steths too.

That being said, the folks that look like they know what they're doing and have an expensive steth usually are both serious about patient care and they're usually quite knowledgeable in their specific clinical practice.

While I'm a nurse of "only" 3 years, I've been a Paramedic for a very long time and I found that a very good steth does make a difference. I know what to listen for and have been able to hear what I needed to, even going down the road with the siren blaring. If I didn't know what to listen for, no steth would have helped.

So, wear and use your steth and don't worry about what others think of you. Learn to use your steth to its fullest and train your ears to hear minute sounds. Keep it either in your pocket, around your neck, or in your ears/hands at all times. Do not let it out of your sight whenever you're away from home with it. They're not cheap to replace!

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akulahawkRN has 3 years experience as a ADN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Emergency Department RN.

16 Likes; 26,987 Visitors; 3,430 Posts

Don't lend it to any residents who "forgot theirs and need yours quick" you won't see it again.

I tend to stick like glue to whomever I lend mine to... and I get it back because I don't let them walk away with it. I also know where the disposable steths are... and I'll grab one of those for "that" resident.

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HalfBoiled has 1 years experience.

3 Likes; 2,332 Visitors; 185 Posts

I only notice when it is NOT a Littmans.

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463 Visitors; 14 Posts

You won't look obnoxious unless you act obnoxious. There's nothing wrong with having good tools as long as you learn how to use them. I have a Cardio III that my parents got me before I was even admitted to nursing school because all of my friends who are nurses, doctors, and medics said to get a cardio scope if I could. It's tennis ball green, and I absolutely love it. I have a cheap scope (like $20 cheap) that lives in the first aid bag at home, too. The difference in what I can hear is crazy. I use it as an opportunity to ask more experienced people to help me learn to hear small sounds and understand them. If you're not comfortable carrying it around, get a mid-range scope that you can have as backup.

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Bumex has 7 years experience as a DNP, APRN, NP and works as a Assistant Professor, Nurse practitioner.

6 Likes; 2 Followers; 7,002 Visitors; 341 Posts

No one will care. Most people in nursing school don't understand the difference between stethoscopes. I never encourage purchasing an expensive one since students can't tell the difference anyway. Great that you got it as a gift!

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875 Visitors; 43 Posts

When I started nursing school, I found a Littman Cardiac II stethoscope on sale and bought it. I wanted to learn which sounds I was hearing and I wanted to do as best I could. If you have one, use it and learn. If people judge you, that is their problem. You have a tool that can optimize your clinical experience. One word of caution: stethoscopes are like pens! People can easily pick up and take your stethoscope and use it, and then it's gone. Take care of your investment.

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10,626 Visitors; 764 Posts

I can honestly say I have never looked at what type stethoscope anyone has, and therefor never judged anyone because of it.

I can't stethescopes apart (yes, I can tell a cheap dispostable from a high end), and have no idea what Littmann is what, or even if it is a Littmann from far off.

Not having one, yes, I have noticed that.

I have some cheapie $30 dual head one that I have had for around 6-7 years, no idea even what brand it is. Works well enough for me from EMS, ICU and ER. I can leave it on the desk and come back a week later and it is still there.

I had a Littmann given to me a few years ago, but it was really short, so I gave it away. I did not notice any difference in what I heard from my cheapie and Littmann.

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Beldar_the_Cenobite works as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

11,413 Visitors; 411 Posts

I'm beginning nursing school and was given a Littman Master Cardiology stethoscope as a gift. I'm concerned I'll look very obnoxious carrying it around, especially since I'm just starting out. Is that a legitimate concern, or will no one care?

God damn! I was thinking of buying the master but then I thought...meeehhhhhhh I don't want to look like a show off so I wanted the Caridology IV which blends in with the rest of the stethoscopes most will most likely have plus people won't be sure by the bell shape if it's an expensive littman or cheap one. If someone asks, I might lie...honestly, you're in school and if an instructor who is a really well seasoned nurse sees your stethoscope, I wouldn't doubt if they made an example out of you. If I were you, I'd get the Cardiology IV so you look like the rest of the class and no one you are around will notice it's a cardiology IV. If you want to keep the Master, don't be a dick towards anyone and you'll be fine. If a nursing instructor comments about it which I'm sure at least one will, just say "It was a gift, I didn't buy it" in a nice and kind tone. You didn't ask for it, unless you did. You can have nice quality things and still be a really generous person. I know A LOT of people who have nice things and are EXTREMELY Ostracizing. I have expensive cookware and kitchenware, but I don't brag or boast about it. I just like finely made things, but I don't flaunt it.

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