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What is a good quality stethoscope?!

Uniform/Gear   (5,730 Views | 6 Replies)
by wedyer92 wedyer92 (New) New

496 Profile Views; 1 Post

I'm looking for a good qulaity stethoscope for nursing labs and clinicals! I'm look to stay around $200 for one...it's worth it to me to pay the extra money for good quality! Thanks!

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ThePsychWhisperer has 7 years experience as a BSN, MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Psychiatric and emergency nursing.

281 Posts; 5,473 Profile Views

My first purchase that lasted me through nursing school and about 3 years beyond was a Littman classic. I think the only reason it fell apart was I left it outside flopped over my rearview mirror during the winter.

My most recent purchase was a Littman lightweight. Not much of a difference between the two, and only about $40 for the lightweight.

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27 Posts; 1,446 Profile Views

In nursing school, we were required to use an MDF MD One (~$60). During my last semester, I was able to detect an S3 heart sound that has never been documented on a patient. Much earlier in my schooling, I was able to take multiple manual BP readings in the middle of a VERY noisy fair using that same steth. I still hated it though. I wanted a Littmann!

Alas, currently, I have an MDF Sprague X (~$60, but the specific color I like is on Amazon for $29.99 for some reason). I know of cardiologists who prefer the MDF Sprague X even over their Littmann Cardiology III (~$150) or Littmann Master Cardiology (~$180). My BF has a Littman Classic III (~$90), and it sucks compared to mine. Using my steth, heart and breath sounds are clear as day even over a shirt and a hoodie, and I don't have to hunt around for them.

Bonus, MDF has a lifetime warranty.

There's even a fairly old objective analysis of stethoscopes (google "The Ultimate Acoustic Stethoscope Review") where a $19 Omron Sprague beat all the other competitors (lots of Littmanns and other "elite brands" with some costing $130) except for the $160 Littmann Cardiology III, which took first place.

If you do get an expensive stethoscope, make sure it's with you at all times. Stethoscopes-- especially expensive ones-- have a tendency to disappear in hospital units. I chose a stethoscope that performs well and won't make me cry when-- not if-- it disappears.

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23 Posts; 2,499 Profile Views

I have the littman master cardiology. worth every penny

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IsabelK has 12 years experience and specializes in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine.

174 Posts; 2,537 Profile Views

I have the Littman Master Cardiology III, have had it since nursing school the first time when I realized how much I hated the cheap ones that came in the kits we "had" to buy and never used. I worked as an aide so I tried a bunch of different stethoscopes the RNs and MDs had and fell in love with the Littman. Wouldn't trade it although they did come out with the Master Cardiology IV which is supposed to have better acoustics and still costs under $200. Since my company will help subsidize the cost, I may try the new one. But for a good solid can hear everything stethoscope, yup, love mine.

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chris_at_lucas_RN has 7 years experience as a RN.

1,895 Posts; 13,691 Profile Views

I have found that a relatively expensive stethoscope, while often providing a slightly better sound, isn't much better than those cheapie disposables that hospitals provide for patients in isolation.

If you can try out a stethoscope, that's best. Listen to your own heart and lung sounds....

Lastly, may be I suggest that you not get any stethoscope with two tubes. The darned things will rub together and quickly become very annoying.

I have a Littman from my school days (graduated in 04), a cheapie that either came with a BP cuff or was bought when I couldn't find the Littman, and an electronic one I really love, but very expensive (something like $1200) and now in need of repair. On the upside for the expensive one? Lifetime warranty, even if you drive over the thing, volume up/down, switch for flatter deeper sounds or higher pitched sounds.

I was very focused on getting the best I could get when I was in school, hence the Littman. But when I got out into the world, there wasn't a whole lot of difference for regular med/surg care.

Christine

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