What's a good stethoscope?

My wife (an RN) has mentioned a couple times that she could use a backup for her current stethoscope. I’m thinking of getting the Christmas Fairies on the case, but they’re notoriously unreliable at brand determination.

So, all you Doper Doctors/Nurses/Medical Folks/People with Odd Hobbies: Are there brands/models that are widely considered superior? Is there a price range that I can more or less select randomly at and be assured of getting a good one? Is there a feature I need/want that I (a technogeek with no medical background) wouldn’t think to look for? Why is “stethoscope” spelled with an “o” rather than an "a"or at least an “e”?

Littman is a good brand. They have a wide range of prices. Does she have a specialty? For example, there is a pediatric stethoscope and cardiac stethoscopes, cardiac being more high end. The cheapest model is probably about $40 but they can run much higher. I have a pediatric (I use mine on small animals) and I think it ran me about $70-80 when I got it. I also have another one that cost around $50-60 that my work bought for me, we get a stethoscope if we’ve been there 10 years.

You can search for more info, they are made by 3M so you may find more info on their site.

Seconding the Littman brand.
There are different models, depending on your wife’s specialty, as posted above.

We have mid-priced stethoscopes at work (EMS), but some people have bought their own to use. I’ve used a Littman a few times, and the quality is amazing.

the littmann master classic II is my scope of choice


Littman is pretty much standard, though I can’t say I’ve tried anything else.

If she’s using the scope for vitals and routine checks, just about anything Littman makes should be fine. If she sees both kids and adults she probably wants one with a reversible head.

I have this one. I don’t know why a nurse would need one of the Cardiology scopes; even as an internist, this one is probably overkill for me.

Whatever you do, the important thing is to not leave it out in the cold. If you do it too often the rubber tends to stiffen up and eventually cracks easily. This happened to my last one after a few too many nights left in the car.

Lithman is a very good brand of stethoscope. You can check on-line, in some college book stores that have a nursing or medical program, and/or some uniform shops. There are several types of stethoscopes and many different price ranges. Shop carefully for what you need.

Sixthing Littman. (Yes, there are other brands.) I work in a cardiac ICU, and the Littman Master Classic II has served my purposes fine. It sold for $100 at a uniform store.

What, no love for the Tycos Harvey? Mine has served me well since 1980! It’s comfy, which is most important if you’ve got the damn thing in and out of your earholes all day long.

Sorry, but I have to jump on the Littman bandwagon. I have a bunch of different ones, since I do birds as well as dogs/cats/etc. TMy day to day favorite is on sale for xmas!

Thanks, folks! I’m pretty sure her primary scope is a Littman, so it sounds like I can’t go wrong doing that again, with a little better model. Now time to see who can get me one by Christmas.

I’ve got a Littman Master Cardiology that I LOVE! Also- check out http://www.allheart.com/ I haven’t seen better prices anywhere else.

St. Urho

I have a Littman Cardiology III. I like it because it comes with all the options (tunable diaphram, pediatric tunable diaphram, and bell-which I still like to use) as well as alternative earpieces to those horrible soft rubber things that I hate but everybody else seems to love.

One suggestion: consider a color. After “misplacing” two black ones and never finding them again, I got a burgundy one with my name engraved and it is much harder to misplace.

If I were getting another, I might consider this one.

Oh yeah, engraving would be a nice extra.

I have found the cardiology ones a little short for my taste. Cardiologists don’t need as much range of motion as I do, and I presume a shorter tube gives better sound, but it’s a bad trade on my side of the bed. I also find the double bells unnecessary, one is all I need.