A Stethoscope is not just an accessory. It is a vital tool that a nurse uses in her daily life. A nurse has two main uses for a stethoscope. The first is for auscultation and the second is for checking the blood pressure. That’s why it is not a wonder that nurses everywhere are on the lookout for a stethoscope that is good.
What Defines A Good Stethoscope?
The Chest piece: The best stethoscopes have a chest piece that is made of alloys of steel or bronze. This is because steel helps to ensure that the diaphragm fits with a tight seal. Since the stethoscope acts like a drum, any air leak could decrease the sound considerably.
The Diaphragm: The diaphragm should be made of a high quality material. It is important to ensure that this material is also flexible.
The Tube: The tube should be made of a thick material. This material will provide insulation and will improve the sound transmission.
The Ear Piece: Most stethoscopes have hard and uncomfortable ear pieces. Using these stethoscopes for a long period of time is painful. That’s why when you buy a stethoscope, you need to ensure that the stethoscope has soft ear pieces. The ear pieces should also be angled in such a way that they nestle comfortably in the ear.
Let’s take a look at some of the best stethoscopes for 2017 in the market.
1. 3M LITTMANN LIGHTWEIGHT II S.E. STETHOSCOPE 2450
The light weight of the stethoscope is an additional advantage. The 3M Littman Lightweight II S.E stethoscope won’t weigh heavily in your pocket or round your neck. It makes the device easy to use and extremely portable.
The diaphragm is shaped like a tunnel and it is responds to the slightest changes in pressure. This means that this stethoscope is capable of capturing both low and high frequency sounds. The tear drop ear piece design helps ensure that you can hear these sounds comfortably.
This stethoscope ensures that the patient comfort is maintained at all times. The rim and the diaphragm have a unique non chill design which helps ensure that the patient is happy too!
2. 3M LITTMAN CLASSIC III STETHOSCOPE 5803
The 3M Littman Classic III stethoscope comes with a double sided chest piece and tunable diaphragms. This makes this stethoscope useful for both adult patients as well as pediatric ones. The single piece tunable diaphragm that comes with this product is easy to attach. Since it has a smooth surface, you will find that this diaphragm is easy to clean too!
The pediatric side can be converted to a traditional bell. This is done by replacing the single piece diaphragm with a non chill rim.
The tubing itself is amazing as it has an increased resistance to skin oils and alcohol. This means that it is less likely to stain and it is more likely to last for a longer period of time.
Carotid assessment, pediatric assessment or the assessment of very thin patients can be carried out by using the small tunable diaphragm. The device is extremely useful because of the number of chores that it can help accomplish.
3. 3M LITTMAN CARDIOLOGY II STETHOSCOPE 3131BE
The 3M Littman Cardiology II stethoscope is designed for all those medical professionals that work in the cardiology departments. This is the only cardiology stethoscope that is available with a dual sided chest piece. This makes the auscultation of adults and children a much easier task.
The two tunable diaphragms are designed to respond to any pressure changes. This is why this device has the ability to capture both high and low frequency sounds.
The stethoscope tube comes with a double lumen (two in one) design. This design helps to reduce noise interference. The most common noise interference that you will notice is when the tube coils and the external surfaces rub together. This can be distracting and annoying. That is why this feature is a welcomed addition to the Littman range.
The headset of the 3M Littman Cardiology II stethoscope has been designed to be anatomically perfect. This is one stethoscope which will not twist as you move. It is designed to be in sync with your body!
This device has a chest piece that is designed to provide Littman’s highest acoustic performance. It is also handcrafted and has an eye catching design. The diaphragm is tunable and it responds to the slightest changes in pressure.
The 3M Littman Mater Cardiology stethoscope comes with a double lumen to eliminate all noise interference. This is particularly useful when listening for heart murmurs and other abnormal heart sounds.
It also comes with a special procedures adaptor which helps use the same stethoscope for children and infants. Another important thing to note is that the stethoscope is designed to suit the wearer anatomically.
5. ADC PLATINUM EDITION ADSCOPE 615
Unlike the other stethoscopes, the Adscope is a product that has been released by ADC. It is certainly as popular as the Littman products. This is because the Adscope comes with an adjustable frequency design. This means that the stethoscope can provide the same response that the traditional bell and diaphragm gives. The only difference is that it uses a convenient one sided chest piece.
The chest piece is oversized and is designed in an ovoid manner. It has an attractive satin finish which is courtesy of the zinc alloy plating. It has a CNC precision machined design which has enhanced the acoustic performance and the ergonomics of the device.
Another thing that states quality is that the company itself guarantees it by providing lifetime warranty. It even goes so far as to provide free consumables. These consumables include eartips and a complimentary ID tag for the stethoscope.
Choosing a stethoscope is a personal task. Nobody can choose a stethoscope for you because they will never truly understand what makes you comfortable. While general guidelines can be laid down, you will find that experience is the true teacher. There are some companies that are renowned for their products. It is always easier and better to start with them. Make an informed choice based on what you know and what you feel.