slideshow widget

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Littman: The best Stethescopes

Your Question: What is the best stethescope to use as an RT?

My humble answer: Good question. I'd go with a Littman. Here is a link to one site that sells them, yet I just chose this one because it has some good pictures with prices. I have a Littman cardiology III which costs about $120 and has a five year warranty. I purchased this one because it has both an adult and a pediatric head that I need because I take care of both populations.

However, any one that fits your budget will work fine. I've used them all at some point.

You have to keep in mind here that your specialty is lung sounds, and therefore you will want to have a stethescope that will allow you to hear all lungsounds. You certainly don't want to have a cheap $10 stethescope that someone else purchased at a dime or dollar store, or your local pharmacy (like the light blue one pictured below).

Another neat things about lung sounds is they help you to pre-diagnose. If you miss those fine crackles in the bases, you might get the wrong initial impression of the patient. Plus picking up on certain lung sounds with a good stethescope will allow you to be proactive.

As you start working in a hospital you'll see many nurses carrying around a cheap stethescope like the one in the picture to the right. If you see one of those, you're seeing a nurse or an RT who doesn't value hearing all lung sounds, because you won't be able to.

What I find funny is when I'm watching a show like Becker or ER and seeing well paid doctors with cheap stethoscopes. Any astute physician can easily afford a good stethoscope.  So the fact the cheap ones are often seen on TV doctors shows the naivety of Hollywood.

That's why they should hire me and pay me a million to watch movies and TV shows to make sure all the medical stuff is right.

Anyway, I know college itself can get kind of expensive, but it's especially important you get a good stethoscope before you go to your first clinical. I'll give you two more good reasons.

  1. Your preceptor will probably want to show you how to listen to lung sounds. When this happens, you'll want to make sure you're hearing what your preceptor is hearing. A good stethescope will allow you to do just that.
  2. A cheap stethescope makes you look like a cheap RT or RN, as opposed to the elite one that you are. Don't sell your self short, be the best, and have good ears.
And no this is not an advertisement for Littman.  There are probably other good stethoscopes out there, but Littman seems to have a good grasp on the market and have me brainwashed.

This post was originally published on August 7, 2010, right here on RT Cave.  It has since been edited. 

Further reading:

1 comment:

Brittney said...

Good choice and great post! I just bought that stethescope (Littman Cardiology III) on Wednesday and I'm hoping to use the rest of my career (veterinary med). But, now that I know what I'm looking for I'll be glancing at my allergist's and primary doc's to see what they are using.