Stethoscopes are essential medical equipment for healthcare practitioners. They help make a diagnosis and give medical professionals a better idea of what’s going on.
When looking for your first stethoscope, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the options available. There are 100s of different stethoscope companies all with their own products that have unique features. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a stethoscope.
Start with a budget in mind
If you’re a new student, then your stethoscope budget is probably pretty low. One thing to remember is you won’t be using your stethoscope daily as a new medical student. It doesn’t make sense to buy a top of the line stethoscope if you won’t be using it daily.
If you’re a medical student a stethoscope in the $30 – $50 range is probably appropriate. Stethoscopes in this range have all the essential features and above average acoustic quality.
Here are a few pointers about stethoscope brands
Littmann is probably the most common and highly reviewed stethoscope brand. Littmann is often considered top of the line for stethoscopes.
ADC is another popular brand that offers solid stethoscopes. ADC has reasonably priced equipment and is well reviewed.
MDF is another popular brand that has been around since the 1970’s. You can get very affordable stethoscopes from them, which are perfect for students.
Decide if you need to specialize
Acoustic stethoscopes are the most popular stethoscope. Acoustic stethoscopes are great for general use such as assessing patients or taking blood pressures. Depending on your area of study you may need a specialized stethoscope.
Electronic stethoscopes work the same as acoustic stethoscopes, but they are amplified with electricity. You’ll find things are easy to hear with this type of stethoscope. Electronic stethoscopes run on batteries and are vulnerable to interference from other electronic devices.
Another example of a specialized stethoscope is the Littmann Cardiology line. The Cardiology stethoscope is designed specifically for EMT’s, emergency nurses and critical care nurses.
Part of choosing the best stethoscope is aligning your responsibilities with the abilities of the stethoscope. This is why many people find the Littmann Cardiology to be an excellent investment when working as a professional.