Best Stethoscope for nursing students 2020 with Pros & Cons

Top 10 Best Stethoscope for nursing students

 

Stethoscopes are an extremely important instrument for any medical students or professionals. It is used daily by a medical practitioner. Whenever we think of a person associated with medicine, a stethoscope is the first instrument that comes into our mind.

As a nursing student, it is very important to have your own stethoscope. It will help you to learn to make assessments and taking vitals. But buying a stethoscope is not easy. To help you with that, we will provide a list of best stethoscopes available in the market for nursing students.

Important features to consider while buying a stethoscope for nursing students:

First, let us discuss the features to check before buying a stethoscope.

Versatility: It is very important for your nursing stethoscope to possess versatility. A dual-headed stethoscope will allow you to switch from a larger head to a smaller one based on the patient’s size.

Hygiene: You deal with germs and bacteria regularly. This makes it essential to clean your stethoscope daily. The ERKA stethoscope is made from chromed brass which is porous and thus more hygienic than the stethoscopes made from stainless steel.

Lightweight: You need to carry a stethoscope around your neck. So, they must be lightweight.

Sound Quality: Check the sound quality offered by the stethoscope before buying it as it is the most important feature. A dual-membrane chamber within the stethoscope amplifies and provides a clear high and low-frequency sounds.

Some of the best stethoscopes for nursing students:

MDF Rose Gold MD Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope
MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope
Primacare DS-9290-BK Classic Series Adult Dual-Head Stethoscope
3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric Stethoscope
ERKA Finesse 2 Stethoscope
3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope
MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope
EKO Core Digital Stethoscope
3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope
ADC Adscope Adimals 618 Pediatric Stethoscope

Buying a stethoscope is not easy. But it is an extremely essential instrument for any nursing student to have. To make your ‘choosing process’ a bit easier and to narrow down the options, here we present 10 best stethoscopes for nursing students. Note that the order of the products listed here doesn’t follow any specific rank pattern. So the products near the end are not the least functional stethoscopes. The details of these products are given here. A thorough discussion of their features, pros, and cons are also discussed here. So let’s begin!

  1. MDF Rose Gold MD Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope (MDF777RG-29):

MDF Rose Gold MD Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope
MDF Rose Gold MD Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope

It is a great choice for nursing students. It is made from premium-grade stainless steel. The color ‘Rose Gold’ has an impressive gold-plating. This makes it unique and attractive from other stethoscopes. It provides accurate auscultation of lungs, heart, and other sounds heard like during blood pressure measurement. It features a non-chill retaining ring to seal the diaphragm. This feature enhances the comfort level and allows secure acoustic transmission. An extra-large bell, crowned by a non-chill bell ring is present. This helps to enhance the acoustical amplification as well as helps to isolate low frequency sounds like the murmur of mitral stenosis. This stethoscope is well-built and can withstand the knocks and scrapes of regular use. The full rotation Acoustic Valve Stem and the dual head Chestpiece that is made of stainless steel are impressively machined. The white PVC tubing is extra thick and made of latex-free components. The silicone built ComfortSeal eartips are super soft and pleasurable to use. This stethoscope comes with a lifetime warranty support.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  •  The dual-head chestpiece is made of stainless steel.
  •  Present of the non-chill ring around the diaphragm and bell.
  •  The bell is extra large.
  •  The PVC tubing is constructed with latex-free components.
  •  The headset is very comfortable to use.
  •  It has 2 eartips sets.
  •  A lifetime warranty is available with this stethoscope.
  •  Throughout its whole life, the user can replace parts at free of cost.
Cons
  •  This shade is not likable by everyone.
  •  It lacks acoustic nuance and thus cannot be used for critical assessments.
  •  As a premium model, it lacks sturdiness

2. MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope:

MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope
MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope

It is a versatile stethoscope and comes at an affordable price. This makes it perfect for nursing students. It comes as a super accessory kit and thus is an excellent choice for students. The kit includes adult, pediatric, and infant diaphragm assemblies. So, one can easily make sound assessments on anyone from small newborns to old people. The tubing features dual lumen. This means you get a sound channel for each ear. The great custom Accufit headset is a blessing. It can adjust to the individual’s specifications, thus allowing them to hear every sound properly. The earpiece comes with the perfect sizing and fits comfortably, without hurting your ears or interrupting the sound. A Sprague’s guarantee is also included with this stethoscope. So, one can replace parts cost-free throughout its lifetime.

 

3. Primacare DS-9290-BK Classic Series Adult Dual-Head Stethoscope:

Primacare DS-9290-BK Classic Series Adult Dual-Head Stethoscope
Primacare DS-9290-BK Classic Series Adult Dual-Head Stethoscope

It is a very affordable stethoscope, currently retailing for less than 10 bucks. It is definitely a great choice for nursing students. You can monitor blood pressure with this stethoscope. It is mainly designed for normal auscultation. No critical assessment can be made with this. It comes with a chrome-plated brass binaural that is adjustable and a chrome-plated dual head chestpiece. So, you get a bell on one side and diaphragm on the other. The tubing is made of lightweight, latex-free components. This is well-built and can withstand regular use. It includes a spare pair of mushroom eartips. A spare diaphragm is also included with this stethoscope. It is great for a nursing student as they rarely need to do any critical assessments.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  •  It is extremely affordable.
  •  The heart, lungs, and bowel sounds can be heard nicely by this instrument.
  •  It comes with a versatile dual-head chestpiece that allows you to hear sounds of a wide range of frequencies.
  •  The adjustable headset is lightweight and adjustable.
  •  The latex-free tubing is 22” long.
  •  Extra eartips and a diaphragm are also present.
Cons
  •  This stethoscope fails to make critical assessments.
  •  The build quality is not impressive.
  •  No special features are available.

 

4. 3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric Stethoscope:

3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric Stethoscope
3M Littmann Classic II Pediatric Stethoscope

It is a great choice for nursing students who want to be a pediatric nurse. It is great for general auscultations. The appearance of the stethoscope is quite appealing to small children. It is available in many bright colors like orange, pink, raspberry, etc. These colors can easily intimidate young patients. It offers superior sound quality for an accurate diagnosis. The dual-sided chestpiece has a standard diaphragm measuring 2.7cm and a traditional open bell measuring about 1.9cm. This sizing is great for neonatal and infant patients. It has a rubber non-chill rim for the comfort of the patient. The headset is anatomically designed to provide a comfortable feel. The soft-sealing eartips are great. The tubing of this stethoscope is durable, less toxic, and helps to reduce sound contamination. Another great thing about this stethoscope is the 3-year manufacturing and mechanical warranty.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  •  The dual-sided chestpiece comes with smaller dimensions for young patients.
  •  The headset is anatomically designed.
  •  The tubing is durable and made of latex-free components.
  •  It is available in bright colors.
  •  A 7-year manufacturing and mechanical warranty is included.
Cons
  •  It is a bit expensive.

 

5. ERKA Finesse 2 Stethoscope:

ERKA Finesse 2 Stethoscope
ERKA Finesse 2 Stethoscope

It is a great choice for both nursing students as well as nurses. It is a German company, known to manufacture high-quality products. It is a well-built instrument that functions very well. The sound transmission is great. It offers a clear resonance for reliable auscultation. Two pre-stressed convex diaphragms are present with the chestpiece- one for small children and the other is for adults. The headset fits comfortably. The ergonomic eartips are soft. The eartips and dual Channel tubing together effectively block out outside sounds. It is available in 13 color options. The great thing about this stethoscope is that it offers a 2-year warranty.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  •  The dual-membrane technology offers rich sound quality.
  •  Two diaphragms are present for adults and children.
  •  It is well-built.
  •  The binaural and parallel tubing helps to prevent any outside noise to disturb the measurements.
  •  It is FDA approved.
  •  It is available in many different colors.
  •  A 2-year warranty is included.
Cons
  •  The Y-part is not much tight and needs to be pulled to tighten. It causes disturbance while checking vitals

6. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope:

3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope
3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

It is a great, budget-friendly, entry-level option for nursing students. It can be used for blood pressure and other simple physical assessments. It features a teardrop-shaped, dual-sided chestpiece to make auscultation a bit easier. It has a patented tunable diaphragm and an ergonomic headset with a superior-quality adjustable tension. The tubing is made of toxic-free materials. The eartips are snap-tight and soft-seal for a proper and comfortable fit. This stethoscope is very light in weight (about 118 grams). Due to its lightweight, it can be easily worn around the neck throughout the day.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  •  It is very affordable.
  •  It is best for blood pressure measurements and some light physical assessments.
  •  Presence of a tunable diaphragm.
  •  The teardrop shape of the chestpiece allows easier auscultations, especially under the blood pressure cuffs.
  •  The headset is ergonomically designed.
  •  The eartips are soft and snap-tight.
  •  Presence of non-chill rim.
  •  A 2-year warranty is also present with this stethoscope
Cons
  •  The acoustic performance is not great.
  •  It is an entry-level instrument and cannot perform critical assessments

 

7. MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope:

MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope
MDF Acoustica Deluxe Lightweight Dual Head Stethoscope

It is a high-quality and durable stethoscope that is very affordable. It helps to get an acoustic diagnosis of the lungs. It is very light in weight. A non-chilling rim is also present. The soft earpieces are made of silicone. They provide a proper and comfortable fit. The striking feature of this stethoscope is that the tubing is longer than most of the models listed here. This helps to maintain a space between the nurse and her/his patient. It is available in 23 color options to choose from.

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8. EKO Core Digital Stethoscope (Best Electronic Stethoscope):

EKO Core Digital Stethoscope
EKO Core Digital Stethoscope

It is a great stethoscope for nurses and nursing students. It has a switch to change this electronic instrument into an analog one. It allows you to connect it to your iPhone or Android device via an app to record it and EMR storage of sounds. It also helps you to get visual processing. These sound files can be annotated to define the body part of the sound. It is HIPAA and allows you to share these files too. The software of this instrument allows in the live streaming of auscultation for monitoring them. This electronic stethoscope also has a pre-defined PDF template which eases the process of creating an auscultation report. It is a well-built, sturdy stethoscope that is easy and comfortable to use. It provides clear and amplified auscultation heart and lung sounds. It can be used to deal with both children and adults.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  •  It delivers clear, amplified rich sounds.
  •  It is well-built and easy and comfortable to use.
  •  It features dual functionality, that is, it can be used on both analog and electronic modes.
  •  It can be used for both adults and children auscultation.
  •  The software allows it to connect it with any device for recording and sharing.
  •  It can save sounds to EMR.
Cons
  •  It cannot provide proper critical assessments.
  •  It is bulky.
  •  It is problematic to use an electronic device for recording

9. 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope:

3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope
3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

It is a great choice for nursing students if they want to make critical assessments. It is one of the highest grade diagnosis instruments. It is also used by medical professionals in ICU and cardiac ICU. It comes with a standard tunable diaphragm. By applying firm pressure on the adult-sized chestpiece, the audibility of high-frequency sounds increases. The double-sided chestpiece has the shape of a chalice for versatility. This stethoscope can be used to assess both child and adult patient. The dual lumen tubing helps to minimize noise contamination by providing two sound paths in one case. The durable tubing is devoid of natural rubber latex or phthalate plasticizers. The headset is ergonomically designed to provide an adjustable fit. The eartubes are angled for better hearing. The eartips fit perfectly in an individual’s ear. It comes with a 7-year warranty. This stethoscope is made in the USA.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  •  It is perfect for making critical assessments.
  •  It provides an impressive, rich quality acoustic performance.
  •  It is extremely versatile.
  •  Presence of tunable diaphragm.
  •  The dual lumen tubing helps to minimize sound contamination.
  •  It comes with a 7-year warranty.
Cons
  •  It is very expensive.

 

10. ADC AdscopeAdimals 618 Pediatric Stethoscope:

ADC Adscope Adimals 618 Pediatric Stethoscope
ADC Adscope Adimals 618 Pediatric Stethoscope

Another great choice for nursing students who want to be pediatric nurses. It is very affordable. This stethoscope has a Tunable AFD Technology. By changing the pressure on the chestpiece, the user can hear diaphragm like high-frequency sounds as well as bell-like low-frequency sounds. It comes with animal face snap-on attachments on the chestpiece to attract infants and small children. 7 animal face snap-ons are present which include Koala, Frog, Panda, Monkey, Deer, Bear, or Tiger. The chestpiece sizes 11/2” for pediatric use. The non-chill bell and diaphragm provide optimum patient comfort. The aluminum binaurals are lightweight and offer a comfortable listening experience. It provides an average acoustic performance.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  •  The size of the chestpiece is perfect for pediatric use.
  •  Presence of 7 interchangeable chestpiece face snap-ons.
  •  Presence of ADF Tunable technology for listening to low and high-frequency sounds.
  •  Presence of non-chill diaphragm and bell for optimum patient comfort.
  •  The aluminum binaurals are light in weight
Cons
  •  It is not well-built.
  •  The tubing is transparent and gets dirty very quickly.

Different parts of a Stethoscope:

A stethoscope is made up of various important components. Let us know learn about each of them.

  • The chestpiece: Chestpiece is placed on the patient’s body part where the user wants to listen to. Generally, they are made of stainless steel because of its durability and conducting sound capability. Stainless steel is a good conductor of sound. But chestpieces made of zinc and aluminum alloy are also there. But they fail to match the amplification quality of a chestpiece made of stainless steel.
  • Tubing: It helps in the transmission of sounds from the chestpiece to the headset while eliminating any unwanted noises. It has a Y-shaped configuration to divide the incoming sound into two parts, so that both the ears of the user can hear it. This tubing is made of Polyvinyl Chloride to make it thick and durable. This makes it crack-resistant and extremely flexible to be folded away.

Another development of this feature is the double lumen tubing. This feature allows two paths of sound- one housed inside the outer tube. This allows in minimizing the rubbing noise generated by the primitive twin-tubed stethoscope models.

  • Tunable Diaphragm: It is a 3M invention that allows the user to hear different types of body sounds by merely adjusting the pressure on the chestpiece. This feature makes auscultation much easier. A tunable diaphragm is made of high-quality flexible material like a PE compound film or resin. For the sound to be amplified and clear, the component should be air sealed. For nurses and doctors dealing with infants and children, a diaphragm with the non-chill rim is great.
  • The Headset: The headset of a stethoscope comprises of three parts-
  • The eartubes: The sound from the tubing is transferred to this. One needs to place then in a particular angle for a proper fit in the ear. They are usually made of aluminum alloy because of its superior strength and lightweight.
  • Eartips: They are the soft, durable, sealing to fit in the ear properly and comfortably without hurting it and to provide a high-quality acoustic seal.
  • Tension springs: These help to give a right and perfect adjustment to the user for a comfortable fit.
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Different types of Stethoscopes for nursing students:

There are several types of stethoscopes available for nursing students. Many basic and economical stethoscopes are available for students with a tight budget. If you prefer a high-performance digital stethoscope then you need to increase your budget a bit. There are different types of stethoscopes based on their different parts.

  • Types of stethoscope based on the head type:

Single Head Stethoscope: This type of stethoscope offers a specific listening experience. One can hear the sounds of the lungs, stomach, and heart by using the one-side chest piece. This chest piece comes with an adjustable diaphragm. This device is used for taking vitals and lung auscultation because of its clear and reliable sound output over a wide frequency range. Basic heart sound assessments can also be carried out by this type of stethoscopes.

Dual-Head Stethoscope: As the name implies, it has two heads- one is the diaphragm to detect high-frequency sounds and the other is the bell to detect low-frequency sounds and murmurs. The diaphragm is the flat part of the head whereas the bell has the shape of a small cup. The bell helps to detect those sounds that a diaphragm fails to detect properly. Due to this feature, this stethoscope is used to deal with patients with varying conditions and ages. Stethoscope with small and big diaphragms help to detect sounds from both large organs and small areas of a body.

Triple-Head Stethoscope: These types of stethoscopes are very expensive. They are heavier as compared to the other stethoscopes. They help to make critical heart sound assessments. But no other assessments can be done with this. This makes it an unlikely choice for nursing students or nurses.

  • Types of stethoscope based on their usage:

Pediatric Stethoscope: They are used on children. The headpiece measures one inch in diameter. The diaphragm is contoured to fit the child’s body size. They are used by only pediatric nurses.

Infant Stethoscope: This type of stethoscope is smaller than the normal average stethoscope. The bell of an infant stethoscope is about 3/4 inch in diameter. The shape of the head is designed to fit the shape of the bodies of babies and infants.

Cardiology Stethoscope: These stethoscopes are available in single, double, or triple head configurations. They are designed to supply high-quality cardiac sound detection to make vital assessments. This stethoscope has a single tube design usually with a bi-lumen to prevent any development of noise pollution due to the rubbing of two tubes. The high-quality diaphragms are super functional to detect any slight frequency change.

  • Types of Stethoscope based on other factors:

Acoustic Stethoscope: They are the basic or classic models of stethoscope with usually two heads- bell cup and a wider diaphragm. The bell helps to detect low frequencies and diaphragm helps to detect high sound frequencies. They are very cheap but are not much sensitive as the other types. Due to the lack of amplification feature in this stethoscope, it fails to catch many sounds. But a benefit of this stethoscope is that it can be used at anytime, anywhere as it doesn’t work on batteries that need charging.

Electronic Stethoscope: It is more versatile than the acoustic ones. It provides several additional features and can pick up sounds of higher and lower frequencies. The special features of this stethoscope are noise reduction and sound amplification. Some models of this stethoscope come with Bluetooth capabilities. So, the measurements can be recorded and the change in the patient’s vitals can be tracked. But they need to be charged. This makes it unlikely to be used for emergency situations.

Stethoscopes for the hearing impaired: Many medical students, nurses, or doctors may have issues with hearing. But this cannot stop them from serving the patients. This special stethoscope can amplify the sounds and prevent any outside noise contamination. So, one with a hearing impairment can easily hear the body sounds of a patient. You can also attach earphones, external PDAs, or a tape recorder to record the measurements.

Conclusion:

We have reached the end. The list of some of the best stethoscopes is given above to guide you to your right instrument. We understand that stethoscope is one of the most crucial instruments of any medical practitioner and thus, you need to be extra careful while choosing one. It is essential to ensure that you take a note of each and every minute detail while picking up the product for yourself. We have thus, focused on mentioning almost every parameter to make sure that you do not have to lag behind while choosing a product. Other information regarding stethoscope and some important things to consider while buying are also given. Hope you find this information useful. Thanks for reading it fully!

 

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