Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Best Stethoscopes for Nurses
Looking for a general-purpose stethoscope for nursing? Then you are at the right place! Also, if questions like “where can I buy a stethoscope” bother you or if you want to check on stethoscope prices, you can look no further.
For today, we picked 3 products that we consider the best stethoscopes for nurses. Their features make them more than suitable for general-purpose physical assessment. And more importantly, they have attractive prices!
Now, let’s move on to our stethoscope reviews without further ado!
The three best stethoscope for nurses are…
Up first on our reviews of best cardiology stethoscopes for nurses is 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope. It is a pretty good mid-range 3M Littmann stethoscope, which is just enough for diagnosis and physical assessment.
Classic III comes with a dual-head chestpiece. The larger head is for examining adults, while the smaller one is designed for use with children, thinner adults, or for easier measurement around bandages.
The most remarkable feature of Classic III is its tunable diaphragms on both the adult and pediatric sides. Basically, you could switch between high and low frequencies by changing the pressure applied on the chestpiece: light pressure is used for low frequencies, while firm pressure is used for high frequencies. The main benefit of this is that unlike regular dual-head stethoscopes, you won’t face the need to find the same spot on a patient’s body after switching sides.
Additionally, the pediatric side of the chestpiece can be converted to the traditional open bell by replacing the diaphragm with a non-chill rim for better low-frequency sound amplification.
The durable and flexible tubing of Classic III is designed to be resistant to skin oils and alcohol, as well as stains, making taking care of the stethoscope easier. What also makes Classic III quite easy to maintain is its smooth diaphragms with no crevices, which contributes to their easiness of cleaning quite a bit. Lastly, soft-sealed earbuds make wearing the stethoscope much more convenient, not to mention that they allow for better sound isolation.
What’s also noteworthy is that the headset can be easily adjusted for better comfort on the head.
Quite a nice benefit of Classic III is that it comes in over 20 colors, which could allow you to pick a stethoscope that is more to your taste.
And now, onto the downsides. Firstly, Classic III doesn’t come with any extra earbuds, so you might need to buy them if you find the ones included too small or large. Apart from that, users of Classic III complained that the color of the tubing tends to darken with use, so you probably should pick darker colors to not face that issue.
· Has a dual-side chestpiece for adults and children.
· The pediatric side converts to a traditional open-bell.
· Tunable and easy-to-clean diaphragm.
· Easy-to-adjust headset tension.
· Sealed earbuds.
· Flexible and long-living tubing.
· A lot of color choices.
· No extra earbuds included.
· The color of the tube tends to darken.
3M Littman Select is a simpler stethoscope than Classic III, as evidenced by its price. Apart from being affordable, Select is a better choice for those who don’t need all those dual-head chestpieces.
Nonetheless, Select has some advantages over Classic III, apart from the price: it is much more lightweight, weighing only 4.1 ounces against the 13.4 ounces of the Classic III. For prolonged use, lightweight will surely be beneficial. Besides, it seems that Select doesn’t suffer from the darkening of the tube as much, which certainly is a benefit for those who want to go for the lighter colors.
As for other features, Select is pretty much identical to Classic III. Most importantly, it has a tunable diaphragm for highly convenient examination of patients. The diaphragm is also rather easy to clean thanks to its simple design. The sealed earbuds with some softness for convenient fit are also here as well. On the other hand, Select comes with only one set of earbuds, as it was with Classic III.
· Equipped with a tunable diaphragm.
· Durable tubing.
· Sealed earbuds.
· Easily adjusted headset tension.
· Doesn’t come with additional earbuds.
MD One Stainless Steel Dual-Head is a more regular stethoscope, having two heads for low and high frequencies instead of a tunable diaphragm. While it may seem that you lose some precision when switching sides, it is more convenient to use the old good design because you won’t have to think about achieving the perfect pressure during the examination.
MD One’s chestpiece is equipped with an ultrasensitive diaphragm, as well as a bell ring, both non-chill. The former is designed for secure acoustic transmission of high frequencies, while the latter is suited for isolation of lower frequencies.
The fully rotatable valve stem is fitted with a green indicator dot to help the nurse identify the active sound channel. MD One pretty much helps you decide which head you should be using.
MD One has an about 30-inch tube against the 28- and 27-inch tubes of the Select and Classic III respectively. For keeping a comfortable distance from the patient, MD One is a better choice. The tubing also delivers good acoustic performance thanks to its insulation and to its internal metal-alloy chamber keeping the channel maximally open for better sound transmission.
Another solid advantage of MD One over the 3M Littmann stethoscopes is that it comes with 3 pairs of well-sealed earbuds: small, regular, and large. And lastly, MDF Instruments offers a lifetime warranty on MD One, as well as includes the product in their Free-parts-for-life Program available after registration. This means that you will be able to get replacement parts on MD One at no cost in the future.
On the downsides, MD One is quite a bit heavier than the Littmann stethoscopes, weighing 1.4 pounds. If you get fatigued easily, MD One might be not the best choice.
· Separate bell and diaphragm heads.
· No thinking about applying the right pressure on the chestpiece.
· Easy sound identification.
· Long and durable tubing.
· Comes with 3 pairs of earbuds.
· Lifetime warranty and free parts for life for registered products.
You now know what the best stethoscopes for nurses are. Click any of the links from this article and pick the stethoscope that is best suited for you.