“A perfect mind comes from a perfect heart, not the heart known by a doctor's stethoscope but the heart which is the seat of God.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
If medicine had a face, a stethoscope would be it. Invented by French physician René Laennec in 1816, the stethoscope revolutionized how doctors detected and diagnosed disease. Today, the stethoscope is considered one of the most simple but essential inventions of all time because it enables doctors to listen to the internal sounds of the human body. Moreover, the stethoscope is a reliable tool for quickly detecting a heartbeat and diagnosing chest disease. Ultimately, the stethoscope is an invaluable medical tool in the world of medicine and a respectable symbol of health and longevity.
With that in mind, many modern-day nursing professionals rely on stethoscopes for diagnosing and preventing both moderate and severe illnesses. And since the majority of hospitals and medical settings require nurses to purchase their stethoscopes, nursing professionals must research which stethoscope is best for nursing.
We know the life of a nurse can be busy. Therefore, we have researched for you and picked out the best stethoscopes for nurses available right now. Below are the top options rated by nurses and medical professionals as the highest-quality and most reliable stethoscopes on the healthcare market:
How to Choose a Good Stethoscope for Nurses
If you are a nurse and are curious as to what are the best stethoscopes for nurses, you’re not alone. Considering that a stethoscope is a necessity for almost all nurses working in a healthcare setting, nearly all hospitals or other medical facilities will require you to have a good working stethoscope. Therefore, deciding which stethoscope is best for nursing can feel like an arduous task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, good stethoscopes will check all the boxes for the following characteristics:
- Accuracy: A good stethoscope will clearly amplify internal body sounds as well as cancel out background noise.
- Versatility: A good nursing stethoscope will be able to auscultate all bodies (big, small, young, and old). Moreover, a versatile stethoscope, such as a dual-head stethoscope, will allow nurses to pick up different sound frequencies accurately.
- Comfort: A high-performing stethoscope will feature an adjustable headset and will not cause head tension for nursing professionals.
- Hygienic: A hygienic stethoscope will be dermatology tested and easy to clean and sterilize regularly.
Now that you are familiar with the basic components that make up the best stethoscopes for nurses, it’s time to choose the ideal stethoscope for your nursing needs.
Top Nursing Stethoscopes
When it comes to choosing a great quality nursing stethoscope, there are a few top-performing brands that make our list:
Best Littmann Stethoscope for Nurses
Littmann stethoscopes win as one of the top-performing stethoscopes due to their accuracy, performance, and overall level of acoustics needed for medical professionals. Furthermore, a Littman stethoscope is also compact, lightweight, and ideal for everyday assessment and diagnosis. Additionally, Littman stethoscopes come in a variety of models and styles and can be purchased according to your nursing specialty. Overall, Littmann stethoscopes are currently regarded as the most trusted stethoscope brand for nurses and medical professionals working in healthcare.
Best Electronic Stethoscope
Some nurses prefer electronic stethoscopes to more traditional stethoscopes due to their additional features, such as extended and optimal listening, digital readouts, sound recording, and playback. Moreover, an electronic stethoscope allows for safer distancing between a nurse and their patient without sacrificing audio quality. Many healthcare professionals still prefer traditional stethoscopes to electronic stethoscopes because the sound quality in electronic devices can be particularly low. With that said, one of the most reliable electronic stethoscopes for nurses is the 3MTM Littmann® Core Digital Stethoscope. Prided as the brand’s most advanced stethoscope yet, the 3M™ Littmann® Core Digital Stethoscope features active noise cancellation, 40x amplification, in-app sound wave visualization, and compatibility with modern smart devices.
Best Stethoscope for an ICU Nurse
A high-quality electronic stethoscope for ICU nurses should feature outstanding sound quality, be comfortable to wear, and capture both low and high-frequency sounds. Consequently, one of the best electronic stethoscopes for ICU nurses is the Welch Allyn Harvey Elite Stethoscope. That’s because the Welch Allyn Elite Stethoscope is durable, latex-free, and has pediatric chest pieces available. This particular model offers superior comfort and is designed to clearly pick up cardiac, pulmonary, and vascular sounds.
Best Budget Stethoscope for Nurses
Stethoscopes can range anywhere from twenty to upwards of four hundred dollars. With this in mind, the best budget stethoscope is the ADC’s Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Edition, which is available for purchase right now for just under one hundred dollars. Compact and lightweight, ADC’s Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Edition stethoscope is one of the most affordable and comfortable stethoscopes for nursing professionals.
The Bottom Line on Stethoscopes for Nurses
At the end of the day, a nurse will purchase a good stethoscope that fits their nursing specialty. While the suggestions above name a few of the best stethoscopes for nurses, there are many well-performing and high-quality stethoscopes available. Essentially, a great stethoscope will have excellent acoustics for listening to vital signs. After all, a stethoscope will always be a nurse's best sidekick and will aid in saving lives day in and day out.