According to the latest research, healthcare providers who wear stethoscopes are more likely to win the patient’s trust compared with any other medical equipment. A stethoscope is an acoustic medical tool used to hear the sounds produced by the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and the intestines. It is also considered as one of the most basic tools that nurses should always have during their work. For nursing students, buying a high-quality stethoscope is a good investment to start with. If you are having a difficult time, then consider these 5 steps to choosing the best stethoscopes for nursing students.
- Know your budget.
For most nursing students, the cost is probably the biggest factor that affects their choice in buying stethoscopes or any other equipment. The good thing is that there is a wide range of stethoscopes to choose from. There are electronic models which may cost over $400 and there are also lightweight stethoscopes with prices below $50. The type and quality of materials, tube length and thickness, durability, and weight are just some of the important elements that affect the price of a stethoscope.
- Research on stethoscopes.
It will be useful to research on the important parts and features of a stethoscope before heading to a local medical supplies store. Most healthcare practitioners agree that the best stethoscope should have a highly durable chest piece and diaphragm, soft and angled ear tips, and long, thick and double-bore tubing. Also, be sure to do research about the best brands in the market. Littmann is one of the most recommended and trusted names when it comes to stethoscopes. This guide reviews all Littmann stethoscopes and helps you decide on which one is best suited for your needs.
- Get a stethoscope that suits your preferences.
Unless the nursing school prescribes a specific stethoscope, you are free to choose the one that best suits your needs. Choose a stethoscope that is lightweight, with just the right length of tubing, and has a perfect fit that will keep you comfortable throughout the day. If you are allergic to latex, then consider buying a stethoscope with a silicone rubber tube instead.
- Consider your patients and working environment.
Knowing your patients and the type of environment that you will be working in will help you choose the perfect stethoscope. If you usually deal with young children, then a stethoscope with a small diaphragm should be a good choice. Double-headed diaphragms can effectively detect both high and low frequencies. Tight-fitting earpieces and amplification features are great for noisy environments while longer tubes are best used for patients with limited range of motion.
- Upgrade your stethoscope with accessories.
Another important consideration when buying stethoscopes are the accessories which enhance its performance and help in proper maintenance. Disinfectant and sanitary wipes do come in handy when using a stethoscope every now and then. A stethoscope cleaner should also make the device last for a long time while a carrying case makes it easy for you to store when not in use. A personalized nametag or badge will help you identify your stethoscope especially if your colleagues bought the same model too. A non-chill rim and a scope light are great additions as well!