Stethoscope Basics: All About Prices and Usage

by Chest Scope | Last Updated: March 4, 2021

A stethoscope is a piece of equipment that is mainly employed by doctors, nurses, and individuals who work in the medical industry. It is used to measure a patient’s breathing patterns and heartbeat. Normally, the device is most often positioned on the chest above the heart; it is also commonly placed on the back.

A contemporary stethoscope comes with a Y-shaped, bendable plastic tubing. Connected at the end of the top of the Y is a pair of earpieces; a sound detector tool is connected on the opposite end. This sound detector tool features a slim plastic piece on one side, while the other side is bell-shaped.

The flat side, or diaphragm, is employed by doctors or nurses to check a patient’s chest for higher-frequency sounds, while the bell-shaped end is employed to detect lower-frequency sounds.

Stethoscope Prices Vary

They can cost as little as $20, while high-end ones can cost well over a hundred. Prices can differ in terms of materials used, stethoscope brands, and features. Models that are marketed for beginners or students usually cost around $20 to $40, and they are mainly used to detect basic heart/lung sounds.

More expensive ones are designed for particular purposes, like pediatric care or cardiology. They are usually built with more features and hardwearing materials. Electronic models are also priced higher than basic models because of their specific utilities and electronic parts.

High-end stethoscopes cost more than average ones, but they allow medical professionals to hear sounds much more minutely, which can prove to be beneficial in locations with louder surroundings like emergency rooms or out in the field.

The budget that you are willing to allot to a stethoscope purchase will rely on your working requirements and personal needs. The majority of medical professionals can procure a decent-quality ‘scope with a price that ranges from $40 to $80. However, if you are a medical student or do general work, you can perhaps acquire ample usage out of a $20 to $40 model.

Stethoscope prices also often differ due to the quality of the bell or diaphragm or the materials used in the construction of the model. Materials that are more lightweight and durable will likely fetch higher prices. The ones priced at $80 though are typically electronic (digital) or are used for specific medical procedures.

You can also look for secondhand stethoscopes. However, a majority of professionals often say that it is better to invest in a brand new stethoscope, since users will get more mileage out of a new model as compared with a used one, which might be more vulnerable to defects from its advanced age.

You can find stethoscopes in medical supply stores, drug stores, and online shops that focus on like items. If you want to check out options online, you can go to e-commerce sites like Amazon. Before buying one though, make sure that you have done a bit of research on the stethoscope first so you will end up with a product that will serve you well.

The stethoscope that will work for you will rely on what you will be using it for every day. If you are currently helping patients with heart problems or are employed in a heart specialist’s office, you will need a specialized model that focuses on cardiology.

If you often deal with babies, toddlers, children you can opt for pediatric stethoscopes. Louder locations will require you to get a stethoscope that features accurate sound fluctuation, thus electronic stethoscopes may be an advantage in your line of work.

If you are a nursing or medical student, you can opt for the basic models, which are often affordable. However, if you can, you may want to look for models that feature excellent sound quality and more hardwearing components.

In the end, you’ll need to learn what your needs and occupation functions are first, and then go for a model that will best suit the kind of work you do. You can also ask your colleagues about the models they use and ask for their opinions regarding the matter.