Got a new pricey stethescope and it's no good!

  1. I am starting nursing school next week and decided to get me a new stethescope in a color of my choice (instead of my current black one). So, I go to the store to get a Littmann and I actually went to two different stores. Both places tried to talk me into getting a different scope than a Littmann. They said that this other scope was just as good but less expensive and had a lifetime warranty. So I got one and it sucks! I had a hard time hearing heart sounds at the store but I decided it was probably because it was too noisy there. I got it home to a quiet house and still could barely make out my own heart beat. I grabbed my old scope and compared them and I was shocked to hear better heart sounds out of my $18.00 cheap one compared to this $60 dollar one. So, lessoned learned and the new scope is going back tomorrow. Has anyone ever had this kind of experience? I thought you got what you paid for but seriously this more expensive one was not good at all.
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    About ShineyNickelRN, ADN

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 66; Likes: 19
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience


  3. by   eatmysoxRN
    Just wanted to say I adore my Littman Cardiology III. A lot of people like Ultrascopes as well. If you know several people in the medical field you could always ask to test theirs. Alcohol pads keep the ears clean :-) good luck finding a good steth.
  4. by   bubblejet50
    I also have a cardiology III and love it. I have some hearing problems (minor hearing loss) and it is the only steth I can hear well with. When I worked in ltc they provided some that were not good at all but I prefered the two tube one over the single tube cheap one. I never brought my littman there because theft was rampant at that facility
  5. by   tyvin
    When it didn't work in the store....well; I guess you've learned your lesson. Take it back and just use the one you got unless you plan on carrying the please steal my new "stethoscope" model around with you all the time never letting it out of your site kind of thing.

  6. by   EMTtoRNinVA
    I've always used Littman stethoscopes (in healthcare for 12 years) and I have moderate hearing lost from a childhood illness. Even if you don't go the Cardiology III route, there are cheaper Littmans that will get you through nursing school and beyond. I bought my Cardiology III before entering ICU, but by then I was a steadfast Littman believer.

    I have colleagues who use Prestige Medical brand stethoscopes who swear by them but I have no experience with them.
  7. by   Stephalump
    Are the earpieces interchangeable? Sometimes if they're too big it's almost impossible to hear anything. I bought a lesser known brand a few years back and I couldn't change them out, so it was a total waste. I love my Littman Cardio!
  8. by   turnforthenurse
    Which Littmann did you buy? And I don't mean to sound smart, but a few other factors:

    * if the scope has a turnable diaphragm/bell, are you sure it was turned the right way? I've made that mistake before...I couldn't hear a darn thing and I realized the diaphragm was turned on to the bell side

    * are the ear pieces facing the right way?

    * are you trying to listen over bone as opposed to the intercostal spaces? Sounds are heard better when placing the stethoscope on the intercostal spaces as opposed to placing it over a rib.

    With that said, I have owned 2 Littmann scopes...the Classic II SE during nursing school and then I upgraded to the Cardiology III. Both are great, but I LOVE my cardio one. I have friends who swear by Ultrascopes as well, which run to be around $100 I think. I wouldn't buy anything else other than a Littmann, though.
  9. by   rubato
    My new Littman arrived last week, and it's amazing! Take that knockoff back and get what you wanted!
  10. by   DanidelionRN
    I have a Littmann Master Classic II... I love it. I haven't had any issues with people stealing it, but then, I DON'T let it out of my sight. The idea of the store being too loud is not a very good reason to not hear well... remember- patient rooms are not always going to be quiet places!
  11. by   biggybigmcnurseypoo
    I too love my Littmann Cardiology III it is most definitely one of the good ones.
  12. by   ShineyNickelRN
    Okay smarty pants Tyvin. LOL! It was noisy in the store. They had loud music playing so it was hard to hear anything let alone to really hear the heart sounds. The clerk assured me it was as good as a Littmann. I did return it. I am going to order a Littmann off They have a great sale going on right now.
  13. by   jethrosledgarden
    I think for most purposes you don't need a fancy or expensive stethoscope. I'm basing that on my personal experience of buying a $60 stethoscope before starting school! Many times in clinicals if patients are on contact precautions you'll have to use a disposable plastic stethoscope that probably costs $2. Much to my surprise I was able to catch murmurs and adventitious breath sounds with those as well. I have a Littman Classic II and it sounds great. I would like to get a Cardiac III but I feel like that's mostly for really advanced cardiac assessments where subtleties such as "midsystolic clicks" or an Austin Flint murmur are important regarding valves. On most intermediate care floors you are just listening for crackles, rhonci, wheezes, murmurs or gallops. I was also gonna mention about making sure the bell was turned the right way but someone else beat me to it . Good luck in school!
  14. by   ShineyNickelRN
    Yessssssss, the bell was position right. LOL! That was the first thing I checked when I wasn't hearing anything. It was turned in the right position. I placed it correctly on my body and I also put them correctly in my ears. I would have been so embarressed if I had done all that wrong. LOL! I promise I am not a total dummy. I actually did get to test a cardiology scope the same day and totally fell in love. It was awesome. For now I will use my cheap scope but I will definitely invest in a cardiology scope and I really appreciate all the feed back. Thanks folks!