The Ultimate Stethoscope Buyer's Guide | Scrub Pro Uniforms
First, we will review the basics of how stethoscopes work, and the parts they have in common.
Sound travels from chest piece of a stethoscope (placed on the patient), through the stem, tubing, ear tubes, and earpieces, to the clinician.
Types of Stethoscopes
There are a lot of different names and styles out there. How do you know what is what? It's not that confusing once you know what each one does!
Dual head stethoscope – Versatile and used to auscultate various sounds at different pitches. The larger side is the diaphragm and is used for higher frequencies, such as heart sounds. The smaller part is the bell, and it is used for lower frequencies, such as lung sounds.
Single head stethoscope – Primarily used for heart sounds, this type has a diaphragm only. It has a wide range of frequency of the diaphragm, and a clearer sound.
Brands of Stethoscopes
There are MANY brands of stethoscopes out there, some well-known and others more basic. When considering brands, it is helpful to look at reviews from other health professionals and information like warranty and availability of replacement parts.
Littman is a brand you will hear often, and they have many different product lines, colors, and styles. Parts are replaceable, and Littman offers generous warranties.
Prestige stethoscopes come in fun styles and colors and offer an excellent value! This is the brand I started off with in nursing school, and it served me well as I learned my assessment skills and took on my first healthcare job.
Assess your needs
Are you new to the medical field and just not sure what you need? There are a lot of choices out there – brands, sizes, levels of sensitivity.
Cardiology and specialty stethoscopes: