Would you take medical advice from a lawyer? Or from a web designer? Well, neither would we! Here at Criticpedia we pride ourselves in only bringing you the opinion of real specialists. But when it comes to the medical profession we are even more aware of just how important it is that we let the specialists, and only them, address you. Which is why we are going to keep our own commentary down to a minimum.
We approached some of the finest doctors and nurses we could find and asked them the following question:
If you needed to buy a stethoscope, which one would you choose?
Their answers, just as they said or wrote them are below. The only other thing we need to address here is that these are real medical professionals that were incredibly generous with their time, which is why we are sure that the opinions they shared with us stem from real life experience.
So, make sure to check each one of them out because they address the needs of nurses, doctors as well as of lay persons who are just interested in making small foray into monitoring their own state of health.
Retired publisher, nurse, author on the back nine of life looking backward, looking forward and enjoying life!
There’s nothing quite like a Littmann. It’s the best stethoscope on the market today. And yesterday. And 30 years ago.
Anne is the owner of Nurse Advocate – a website that provides information for patients, families and healthcare professionals, helping them understand how to navigate today’s complex healthcare system.
If I had to buy a stethoscope today, I would purchase a Lippencott stethoscope. I have used them for my entire career (40 years as a critical care nurse). They are lightweight, easy to hear and durable.
Beth Boynton, RN, MS is a nurse consultant and the author of 3 books including the industry first, Medical Improv: A New Way to Improve Communication, (CreateSpace 2017). She publishes the award-winning blog, “Confident Voices in Healthcare” and can be reached: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would buy and UltraScope because it was invented by an Emergency Room RN. It is a high quality scope designed to block out ambient noise so it is easier to hear heart and lung sounds. I also love that each UltraScope is hand-painted with designs that put a smile on my patient’s faces.
Brittney Wilson, BSN, RN, the nurse behind The Nerdy Nurse, is an award-winning author and blogger, international keynote speaker, and an influential social media personality in the nursing, technology, and healthcare IT communities.
For most nurses starting out I’d recommend the Littmann Classic II because it’s affordable and high quality.
Christine is a stair stepper nurse who went from CNA to RN, while being a, WLS patient, wife, and mother of 2.
Littman Master Cardiology or Eco Core. Haven’t decided yet.
Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, is a physician at Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in country, and a faculty member of NYU School of Medicine. She writes about medicine and the doctor-patient connection for the New York Times, Slate Magazine, and other publications.
It does not matter what kind of stethoscope you buy. The most valuable part of the stethoscope is that part between the earpieces.
Diane is the owner of Nursing Home Volunteer. Since graduating from college, she worked in several different types of nursing, but long-term care has always been her favorite. Today she works part-time in corporate wellness. In her free time, she volunteers at the nursing home where she worked as an RN for over 20 years.
I use the Omron Sprague Rappaport stethoscope in my work as a corporate wellness nurse. We only use stethoscopes for checking BP’s, so I can’t speak to the sound quality for more complex medical assessments. However, it works great for our purposes, and the price is reasonable. I’ve found this stethoscope to be very sturdy, and the earpieces are comfortable.
Eileen brings a deep and rich background of twenty-five years in the nursing profession. Her vast experience includes critical care, oncology medical-surgical nursing, high risk obstetrics, and PACU.
I have consistently used the Littman classic.
Elisabeth graduated from nursing school with her BSN in 1995. Her nursing degree has given her the opportunity to work in a variety of settings-hospital, home health, health department, doctor’s office, and school.
Littman is my all time favorite!
Gene is part of the team at Medgadget. Since 2004, Medgadget has been reporting on medical technology from around the world. We cover the latest medical devices and approvals, technology breakthroughs and discoveries, conduct exclusive interviews with med tech leaders, and file reports from healthcare conferences.
We were really impressed with the Eko Core when we reviewed it a couple years ago. It has a lot of nifty features and we are gadget fans, so it was super cool.
Gina has been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. She blogs about her experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system – patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics.
I have a Littmann. If I needed a new one I’d probably buy another Littmann.
Jami is a registered nurse practicing in an Intensive Care Unit in Sydney, Australia. She self taught herself a little about nutrition but wanted to know more so she enrolled herself into a nutrition and dietetics course in order to gain more knowledge.
The stethoscope I would buy is from the brand Litmann.
Kathy Quan has been an RN for over 30 years. Most of those years have been spent in home health care and hospice where she has worked as a field nurse, a nursing supervisor, branch manager and in quality improvement. Today she works part time in hospice as a QAPI specialist.
I have never needed to have a very specialized stethoscope and my Litman Classic III has always served me well. If I were to need something more specific, I would look at other Litman scopes.
Kati graduated from nursing school in 2010. She worked in a cardiac stepdown unit for 2 years before working in a neurosciences critical care unit for 4 years. She obtained her critical care certification from the AACN in 2015, and has experience as a certified preceptor and charge nurse, with policy and procedure review, shared governance, and is a published author with the American Nurses Association.
My preferred scope brand is MDF. The MDF MD One® Stainless Steal Dual Head Stethoscope is only around $50, but is really high quality. They also have quite a few color options and free shipping. I can hear incredibly well with it, on par with other extremely expensive scopes from other brands. I also encourage people to get them engraved when you purchase (MDF offers that) so if you forget it somewhere, it can get back to you.
Coffee, children, and cancer—if she had to describe her day as a RN in three words that would be it. But those three terms only scratch the surface of what it is, and what it takes to be a pediatric oncology nurse.
It’s been a few years since I needed a stethoscope for my daily practice (I am now a clinical research nurse); but you can’t go wrong with Littmann! I’ve had three stethoscopes over the course of my nursing career–a Littman Classic in nursing school, a teal Littmann Classic II Pediatric with rainbow finish for my first day as a “real nurse” on the pediatric oncology floor and finally a Littmann Cardiology as a “seasoned” nurse. All inscribed with my name because those things grow legs! They have all served me well.
Lois is a happy mom of two and grandma to five who decided to take writing seriously in 2000, a few weeks after she retired as professor emerita from teaching nursing at Trinity Christian College. Working nearly forty years, she held positions in eight places, ranging from hospitals to steel mills, and she taught and/or held administrative positions in four schools of nursing: Prairie State College, Trinity Christian College, Valparaiso University, and St. Xavier University/Chicago.
I had a Sprague Rappaport, but that was years ago. As a retiree, I know nothing about the current market, but if I were to get one now I would want one that is more lightweight.
Neonatal nurse, auntie, ballerina, yogini, traveler, and fledgling blogger sharing and looking for inspiration! Lori is an American neonatal nurse now living and working in Sweden.
I think there is only one stethoscope to choose from in neonatology and that is Littmann. Littmann is the best for detecting even the most subtle murmur or abnormal lung sounds in a newborn. While I think it takes a sharp ear and experience to detect murmurs and abnormalities, Littmann stethoscopes give the user the best chance. When I graduated from nursing school fifteen years ago, all I asked for was a Littmann and I still have it to this day.
Lucy has been in private practice for twenty years and she is still kicking! She is also embarking on a new career as an author. Find more details on her blog!
If I want a stethoscope it’s hard to go wrong with a good old Littman. I like the Cardiology II, especially when it’s on sale. Stethoscope.com usually has great deals. That’s probably why I have one for the office, another for my house call bag (a lightweight one), plus two for my baby room (infant and child-sized chestpieces.) Besides, they all have my monogram on them. 😁 [Lucy]
In terms of technology and “performance,” various kinds of tubing and such, I like to say that what’s between the earpieces is more important than what’s between the chestpiece and the earpieces.
Medaholic is the alias of a Canadian trained internal medicine physician. The blog was started in 2008 in order to document the journey through medicine. Since then, it’s evolved into a resource for people interested in pre-med studies, MCAT, medical school admissions, medical school, residency and a career in medicine.
I would go with whatever your medical school recommends. Usually it’s a good balance of quality and affordability. I think for our class it was the Littmann Classic III, which they had a bulk buy discount on.
Most importantly, it’s what’s between the ear pieces (your brain) that matters, not the stethoscope.
Nachole Johnson is a nurse practitioner, author, and entrepreneur. Her 17 years of experience allows her to offer knowledge to help others in the profession. Her website, ReNursing Edu, is dedicated to nurses who want a change in their profession, whether it be moving to another speciality or starting their own business. She is also credited with creating products to make the clinical aspect of being a nurse practitioner easier, notably The NP Clinical Cheatsheet and Advice Scripts.
If I had to suggest a stethoscope, I would choose a Littmann. I’ve used Littmann stethoscopes my entire nursing career (17 years) and haven’t had any issues. I’ve had 3 Littmanns over the course of my career. They have great craftsmanship and if I were to have an issue I know that my stethoscope is covered by their warranty.
Paul Kubin is a primary and urgent care physician assistant who writes and speaks passionately about physician assistant careers. He is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and regularly draws from his knowledge of psychology in his work with patients and the PA school applicants he coaches.
I used the Littman Cardiology III for my first years in practice as a physician assistant in urgent care. In fact, my dad’s stethoscope — he was a physician and he passed away in 2009. His worked so well for me and it felt like a little piece of him, so I didn’t want to change to another one. But one day I told the story to one of my patients, and she said, “Hey, that’s too precious a thing to keep using now that your father’s gone!
What if you lost it? No, you should retire it.” So now Dad’s old Littman II is in a shadow box in my living room. I’ve tried the Littman Master Cardiology, but the sound wasn’t as good. So I took a chance on the Cardiology IV, the update of my dad’s, and it’s a great scope. Sounds just as good as Dad’s, and the chest piece is now machined to be more comfortable in your hand when you use it. It’s the only scope I will use now.
You can call him PoF, the Physician on FIRE. He is an anesthesiologist, family man, and supposed outdoors enthusiast who spends way too much time indoors.
If I needed one stethoscope, I would purchase a basic Littman stethoscope. I’ve been using them since medical school, and they’re a quality product from Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing.
Portia is an experienced nurse and millennial and post-millennial strategist. Wofford is the founder of Your Nurse Connection conceived to connect healthcare professionals to resources and tools for the purpose of professional development. Often coined “The Millennial Nurse” she is a writer, published author, and contributor often sought out to lend her expertise as a millennial nurse.
If I needed to buy a stethoscope I’d choose the scopes by Stethohope. They are fashionable, affordable, and they have a great mission. For every stethohope purchased one is donated to a medical facility, in need. Their customer service is awesome! The fact that I can actually hear out of it, is a huge bonus as well!
Sarah is a Registered Nurse and founder of Nurse Born Products and the creator of the patented Koala~Qlip Stethoscope Holder. Her website was created as a place where you can find not only quality, useful and interesting products that were inspired by nurses, but a place where you will find Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement through your journey as a nurse and/or as a nurse entrepreneur.
I would buy an UltraScope Stethoscope because it was developed by an Emergency Room Nurse. The UltraScope is high quality, and designed to block out ambient sound making it easier to hear lung and heart sounds. I also love that each UlraScope is handpainted with designs that put a smile on my patients faces.
Dr. Schreiber is one of the few providers in Delaware that is certified to perform the DOT medical examination. In addition to the exams, he is also a certified urine drug collector and breath alcohol technician.
I prefer the Littman cardiology III. I use this currently. When it comes to stethoscopes, you get what you pay for. I can hear heart sounds a lot easier and more clearly. I also feel that I hear less background noise as well.
Shayla has been a registered nurse since 2014. In the 3 years that she has been working as a nurse in Canada, she held positions in numerous areas of health care. These include cardiac medicine & surgery, acute care for elders, influenza inoculation programs, sexual assault response, and hyperbaric medicine.
I would buy a Littmann Classic III stethoscope. Like a hammer to a carpenter, a stethoscope is an essential tool for a nurse. It’s something we use daily, so it’s best to invest in a quality one early on in your career. Littmann stethoscopes are excellent quality and the Classic III style provides great value for the money.
Sonali is a board certified Emergency Medicine physician, trained chef, mom, recipe developer, and cookbook author. She loves using her medical and culinary backgrounds to help her readers create meals that are nutritious and full of flavor.
I actually just recently purchased a new stethoscope- the Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope so that’s the one I would recommend. I got my first one as a medical student and it lasted me 17 years so I decided to go with the same brand again! I think the quality is great plus it’s lightweight and I like the way it looks.
Thomas is a nurse practitioner who works in emergency rooms and remote health-care locations across the country.
I use ADC stethoscopes. The audio quality is excellent and they have a lifetime warranty including the tubing.