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what stethoscope to buy

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hi. i will be starting nursing school in january. i have been looking around at the different brands of stethoscopes. i have also done a search on this board for stethoscopes and have read through the messages posted there. any recommendations for a good stethoscope and also is it worth the extra money to purchase a good one versus a cheap one? a friend of mine who is an ER nurse says that i do not need to spend more than $20. on a scope. i would love to get some ideas on what type to buy and also, what do you like about the stethoscope that you use?:)

I have a Tycos Harvey Elite. As I am also starting in January, I can't give you any feedback on how well it works. My suggestion is once you decide what you want, check out Ebay. I got mine on Ebay, brand new, and paid less than half the list price.

suzy253, RN

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

I'm a student as well and I have been using the Littman Master Classic II on my clinicals based on recommendations from nurses using this board. It's a very good steth.

Headhurt, ADN

Specializes in Oncology RN. Has 15 years experience.

I've used a Littman, and have no complaints. Fellow classmates have other brands, all report them working well.

Whichever one you pick, make sure it has a doudle-sided bell. Some instructors are particular about that sort of thing.

Good luck in school!

ibmissy

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 7 years experience.

I use a stethoscope my other half bought when I was pregnant with my 8 yr old son..He bought it at CVS to try and listen to him in my belly. It cost a total of $15 and I have no problem with it.

I recommend a cheap one over an expensive one..Once you have mastered using a cheap one, then you may want to get a littman or something like that. But cheaper ones are better for those learning to take b/p's and listen to heart, lung, and bowel sounds. I've noticed in class those who own littmans had a harder time passing the b/p skill in lab..Mostly because the double stethoscope the teacher uses with you is pretty cheap..and the acoustics aren't as good as the more expensive scopes.

raynefall

Specializes in ER then CVICU now.

Originally posted by time4mydream

hi. i will be starting nursing school in january. i have been looking around at the different brands of stethoscopes. i have also done a search on this board for stethoscopes and have read through the messages posted there. any recommendations for a good stethoscope and also is it worth the extra money to purchase a good one versus a cheap one? a friend of mine who is an ER nurse says that i do not need to spend more than $20. on a scope. i would love to get some ideas on what type to buy and also, what do you like about the stethoscope that you use?:)

I refuse to spend over $100 for a Littman stethoscope while I'm still a student. After I graduate and pass the NCLEX fine, but for now my $15 stethoscope that works real well will have to do!

You can't go wrong with a Littman. However, I refuse to pay more than $20 for a stethoscope. I work in ER and they tend to "walk".

As a matter of fact, I bought an extra "cheapy" to keep in my locker at work.

AmyB

Specializes in LTC.

When we were buying our supplies before the first semester started, one of the graduating seniors told us there were two things that it would be worth it to invest in. One was a good pair of shoes (obviously) and the other was a stethascope. I have a cheapie Sprague and a Littman Lightweight and they both seem to work well for me. I had no difficulty passing my lab b/p with either scope. Good luck!

My folks got me a Littmann Classic II SE as an early Christmas present. I start school in Jan. I have used it to listen to family members and pets (yes, pets) and it works very well. The scope "recommended" for my class from the place we get our student uniforms is a Prestige sprague (from what I understand it's because its one of the higher quality cheapie scopes).

tdg_rn

Specializes in Emergency.

I am in the same boat - starting school in January and all. I decided to go ahead with the Littman Classic II SE.

The biggest reason I chose it was I think you generally get what you pay for. Littman has an extremely good track record. I'm also pretty good about hanging on to my stuff so I expect to have it for a good while. I didn't want to drop a whole lot of money on one but I felt it was more of an investment.

Terence

#1rnstudent

Specializes in orthopaedics, perioperative.

I have a Littmann Cardiology III and I love it! I also have a cheapie sprague stethoscope and the earpieces hurt, they never stay in the spot I position them. I love my Littmann and would not trade it for anything. :kiss

I also refuse to lend it because I did not pay all that money for others to use it and I don't need any ear infections. I save the cheapie in case others need to borrow one. :D

I bought a cheapie sprauge steth, and I really don't like it. I feel that it has too much background noise. I don't know if mine was a dud or not, but my buddy who bought the same one is also upgrading. I bought a Littman select, and it was only $40, and is very good, and light.

Although I hear they tend to "walk" alot. Keep an eye on yours, regardless of cost.

I ordered a Littman Select (on sale for $36). Haven't received it yet, but my sis, who is an RN, says Littmans are the best way to go.

After trying to hear things on the cheapies used in our A&P class I bought a Littman Classic II for clinicals. I thought I was unable to distinguish sounds... it was the stethoscope. Now, I do fine. I love my Littman... but it seems like everyone has their own opinions on what is important. Do you have a friend in nursing school that has a steth that you can try out and see what works best for you? I actually went to a medical supplier to try some before buying my Littman. I spent about $75.

Larry77, RN

Specializes in Trauma/ED. Has 10 years experience.

I use an expensive Soft Touch Littman, I just love a good steth.

I would look out for the weight of your steth because I had the Littman Cardiology III and it weighed a ton, I hated to have it around my neck.

I hate the double sided kind because it seems like you get extra noises and I always had to make sure the diaphram was turned correctly.

I've had great luck ordering from http://www.allheart.com very fast service and you can even get your steth personalized. (I checked looks like they have 3 different Littman's for under $40.00)

We have the $30 Littman's on this page at work and they work great http://www.allheart.com/littmannscopes.html

LilgirlRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in ED staff.

I have the same Littman Cardiology II model that I've had for 15 years. It does weigh a lot but I hate the way my lightweight Littman slips around my neck and my old one just hears so much better than the other one. They are expensive, but worth the money if you need to listen to heart sounds etc, not just take BP's. :)

LilRedRN1973

Specializes in ICU, psych, corrections. Has 8 years experience.

What's everyone's opinion on this model of Littmann? I'm getting this one from the big guy in red (ok, ok..it's really my hubbie, but don't tell the kids!!!). I have a Prestige that I hear BP and lung sounds with, but I have a hard time listening for S3, S4, murmurs, and other sounds. So I asked for this one because it seems to be a nice, middle of the road quality steth. If I end up going into a cardiac unit or a peds unit, that will be the time I buy a specialty steth, but not before.

http://www.allheart.com/2200-16.html

Gompers, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU.

For nursing school, I'd definitely go with the sprague or Littman scopes. I had both and they worked very well when I was just starting out. CLASSICS.

But later on in your nursing career, you can always get adventurous and order something new. I am a big fan of Ultrascopes - http://www.ultrascopes.com - for many reasons. They work very well in my experience, and are just about the coolest looking scopes around. You'd have to go to the site to understand what they look like. I get so many compliments on mine! I have two peds-sized scopes - one with multi-color glitter on the head, and one with a purple smiley face. Some people don't like them because they are single-sided, but they're pressure sensitive so you can adjust to hear high and low pitched sounds. The acoustics are great - paramedics talk about finally being able to listen to their patients in ambulences, and you can hear through clothing - even winter coats!

They just came out with a ton of new head designs that aren't up on the website yet - anyone interested in ordering one might want to contact them first for a catalogue, as the newer designs are so unique!!! (Beach scenes, butterflies, awareness ribbons, flags, smileys, etc.)

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