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Littman or MDF Stethoscope

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by Dani_Sanchez777 Dani_Sanchez777 (Member) Member

Dani_Sanchez777 has 6 years experience and specializes in Urgent Care.

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Hi all! 😎 I need to purchase a stethoscope for nursing school that will go into my career with me. I’ve always used a Littmann as an MA, but I would love some opinions on which one is a better option? There are so many pros and cons to both. Help!! 💥

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Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

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I have both, and honestly, they're both good steths.  I personally prefer the MDF, but the MDF is kind of heavy.  So if you're the neck-wearing-steth type (I am not), I'd go with a Littman.  II SE is a good one for nursing school.  Classic III is more sensitive but more expensive.

Keep in mind:

  • While you want a good steth for nursing school, you won't want to spend bank because of all the abuse it will take.  Plus the risk that it will get lost, stolen, damaged...
  • Even though you say this one will go into your career with you, once you graduate, you will have the desire to treat yourself to a really good steth, likely engraved with your name and RN or LVN.  So you may not want to go overboard with the nursing school one.

 

 

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Dani_Sanchez777 has 6 years experience and specializes in Urgent Care.

33 Posts; 372 Profile Views

Ahh okay. I have a Littmann Classic III it’s pretty much brand new. I am not a neck wearing type of gal. It honestly bugs me having things around my neck, lol. I had heard the MDF scope is heavier and doesn’t have as clear of acoustics as the Littmann. Is that true regarding the acoustics??

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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It completely depends on the type of scope. Each brand has different levels of quality; for instance, Littmann has lower quality (the S.E. lightweight series), mid-quality (the classic series) and high quality (the cardiac series). In nearly all stethoscope brands, the 'cardiac' series is going to be the best quality, and usually includes dual-lumen tubing (vs. single-lumen). A high quality MDF is probably going be better than a low quality Littmann, and vice versa.

That said, as far as acoustics are concerned, Littmann is often considered the gold standard, above just about any other brand (except maybe Welch Allyns, which start at $200+).  Adscope is also pretty solid; they sell the same models as Littmann with nearly comparable quality, but about half the price.

If you had an S.E. I might suggest replacing it, but honestly, a Littmann Classic III is more than adequate for clinicals. In order to get a better quality MDF you'd have to buy a cardiac stethoscope, and at that point you might as well buy a cardiac series Littmann. If it were me, I'd save my money until after graduation. Just my two cents.

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Dani_Sanchez777 has 6 years experience and specializes in Urgent Care.

33 Posts; 372 Profile Views

@adventure_rn Thank you for the insight! I actually own a Littmann Classing III but I have only used it for blood pressure (as an MA)  until now. So, I'm thinking I'm going to wait until I graduate and treat myself with a nice, new stethoscope down the line. Super appreciate the input!!😀

Danielle 

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barcode120x has 3 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in Telemetry.

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I've used the classic litmann (the one with no bell either lol) since I started working as an RN. The plastic part that goes in front of the diaphragm came off and I grabbed a disposable stethscope and use that plastic to replace mine. Works just fine even to this day (still comes off every now and then haha). If anything, I would just with an upgraded litmann, one with a bell (which you probably won't use as much). Other than that, your classic should last you forever and ever. I don't recommend getting any sound/volume/acoustic enhancers when you first start working. No real reason to get it early on...or ever. The only reason I'd say you would need those pricey enhance stethoscope is if you're working on a cardiac unit or are gearing towards a clinician occupation. But even then, it may not even be necessary. None of the cardiologists at my work use one.

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Dani_Sanchez777 has 6 years experience and specializes in Urgent Care.

33 Posts; 372 Profile Views

@barcode120x I like your style! 😅 I do have the littmann classic III. Honestly the only thing I don't like is how short it is. I'm not used to my steth being so close to my chin! (sort of like a claustrophobia feel) But, I like it so far. I super appreciate the input!! 

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