should i buy a new sethescope?

  1. hello,
    i am a 2nd year nursing student. during my clinical , i was unable to listen to patients heart. she has CHF.. should i buy a new sethescope.. like a lithman (for cardiovascular)..is this because of my poor sethescope or poor nursing skills....? can ne one give me some wise suggestion?
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    About fighter

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 1

    9 Comments

  3. by   Aradien
    Quote from fighter
    hello,
    i am a 2nd year nursing student. during my clinical , i was unable to listen to patients heart. she has CHF.. should i buy a new sethescope.. like a lithman (for cardiovascular)..is this because of my poor sethescope or poor nursing skills....? can ne one give me some wise suggestion?
    Hi,

    I don't know if you need a new stethoscope but I have a Littman Classic II that I bought in 1993 and it is still good to go. Do you think maybe you had your stethoscope on the bell side when you were using the diaphragm side or vice versa?

    Hope this helps.
  4. by   EricJRN
    The other thing I would check is that your earpieces are facing forward (toward the tip of your nose).
  5. by   augigi
    It may be a combination of both - a good stethoscope is a great investment, as you'll use it for years. It also makes it easier to hear things, and a choice of different earpieces so you can work out which one works best for you.

    Can you usually hear heart sounds with your current stethoscope?
  6. by   michar
    I'd get real familiar with healthy heart sounds before I made that call. Others have given other possibilities that are cheaper.
  7. by   RebeccaJeanRN
    I used to think I was hard of hearing, or stupid, because I couldn't hear much with the cheaper stethoscopes and didn't pick up on certain sounds. So I bought a littman and then I could hear the patient breathing in the next room when I put it on. OK, maybe not exactly, but some things in life are worth every penney. For me, there really WAS a difference. Now that I don't feel deaf anymore, if just I can figure out how never to feel stupid...THAT would be the OTHER instrument I'd buy in a hurry!
  8. by   allthingsbright
    I just bought a littman lightweight and it has made a big difference. But you also could be listening in the wrong place--like over a bony prominence. You leed to find the space in between the intercostals when listening to heart tones.

    Remember these:
    Aortic Valve Second R intercostal space @ R sternal border
    Pulmonic Valve Second L intercostal space @ L sternal border
    Tricuspid Valve Fourth L intercostal space @ L sternal border
    Mitral Valve Fifth L intercostal space @ mid clavicular line
  9. by   prmenrs
    I don't know how much time you had to listen and get used to using your stethoscope. @ this point, practice a lot! Listen to everybody who will hold still for you--even dogs and cats. Practice counting HRs, too. We had a poor little LVN student recently who spent an HOUR counting a baby's apical pulse! It helps sometimes to close your eyes. Sounds nuts, but try it.

    Practice before you spend the big bucks. And maybe ask for that Littman for Christmas!
  10. by   augigi
    Littman's aren't that expensive, given you get daily use from them.
  11. by   marilynmom
    I agree with the others. First make sure you are listening correctly (correct place, etc). I had a cheapo Sprauge and though for me it was just fine for basic nursing skills like BPs, etc my Littmann Cardiology III there is nothing I can't hear! Its definatly worth it. I was shocked at how much of a difference there was.

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