Whether you are already working as a nurse or still a nursing student, picking up the most expensive stethoscope is not always a good idea. Choosing the best stethoscope for nurses includes several factors that should be taken into consideration.
Two types of stethoscopes for nurses
There are hundreds of kinds of stethoscopes on the market today. As such, it is important to understand the two major types of stethoscopes. The first one is the acoustic stethoscope, which is widely used by medical health experts; a typical acoustic stethoscope is composed of a chest piece, a tube, and an ear piece.
The second type is the electronic stethoscope, which produces better sound quality and often results in more accurate diagnosis. However, electronic stethoscopes are generally more expensive when compared to acoustic models.
When it comes to choosing stethoscopes for nurses, make sure to choose the right type. It is always best to pick up a model that produces sufficient sound quality and volume so you will be able to appropriately measure blood pressure and listen to patients to discern internal sounds.
Comfort and quality
Stethoscopes come in different sizes and offer different levels of performance. Bigger stethoscopes are known to produce more enhanced acoustics and are able to detect miniscule sounds from different body parts. However, bigger stethoscopes are heavier and might be a burden when hanging on your neck for long period of time.
Choose the right size according to your circumstances. If your task is to listen to minute sounds that are hard to detect, get a bigger and heavier stethoscope, but if your task is to get blood pressure and listen to body sounds that are typically easy to detect, lighter and smaller stethoscopes will do.
Most times, nursing students are required to have the more affordable kinds of stethoscopes. On the other hand, licensed nurses – or nurses who are already practicing in the field – need to have more specific and specialized models that are required for their tasks and their department.
Stethoscopes for nurses
The following are two of the best stethoscopes in the market that are best suited for nurses.
- Omron Sprague Rappaport
This model is one of the most affordable stethoscopes on the market today. If you are a nursing student, the Omron Sprague Rappaport is a good model. Even though it is affordable, it is a good quality stethoscope that helps you get your nursing assignments completed.
It has two diaphragms – a small one which is used for children and a bigger one which is used for adults – so you don’t need another diaphragm if you are re-assigned from the pediatric department to adult patients. It also comes in multiple tube sizes so you can choose which one suits for specific patient. Another feature of the Omron Sprague Rappaport is that it is made of latex-free materials so you won’t have to worry about allergic reactions.
- Primacare DS-9290-BK Classic
If your budget is tight and you only need basic performance from a stethoscope, the Primacare DS-9290-BK Classic is the right one for you. It costs less than $10, and for the majority of nursing students or practicing nurses, it is a great device that allows them to listen to lung and heart sounds and other basic auscultation tasks. However, do not expect that you can pick up very minute sounds like you would be able to do with more expensive stethoscope models.
The Primacare DS-9290-BK Classic has thicker tubes that help to obstruct external sounds, aiding in preventing disruption during diagnosis. Plus, it takes less time to assemble and is very affordable, especially for nursing students. When choosing the right stethoscope, it is important to consider affordability, performance, and overall quality. The Primacare DS-9290-BK Classic is one of the best buys on the market today.
The best stethoscope for nurses depends on your circumstance, the use it is intended for, and your budget. The best model does not mean the most expensive model but the one that suits your tasks and needs the best.
If you are a practicing nurse, it is a good idea to choose a stethoscope that is durable and flexible enough to do different auscultation tasks. Nursing students, on the other hand, may only need a more affordable stethoscope that provides good quality overall body acoustics.