Let’s face it; the classic stethoscope has its place in healthcare, but we’re living in evolving digital times. A stethoscope is so much more than just a nurse gadget, it is a tool that no nurse can be without. With technology completely changing the world and standards of care in healthcare, it’s no surprise that electronic stethoscopes are on the rise.
These devices have come a long way indeed. Conventional stethoscopes have long been seen as a badge of honor by healthcare professionals, but they have not changed much in function. However, major advancements in technology have moved some stethoscopes forward by leaps and bounds. Electronic stethoscopes have been on the market for a while but have really been taken to the next level in recent years. Bluetooth, noise reduction, and complication are all huge improvements over an acoustic stethoscope. In fact, electronic stethoscopes may very well be the best solution for doing auscultation in a room replete with the white noise of fans, electronic instruments, and computers.
Some nurses swear by a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope; others are unsure where to turn. It can be difficult to nail down exactly what the best stethoscope for nurses is. Some nurses swear that MDF Stethoscopes are the best. Recently, some sophisticated electronic stethoscopes have been introduced. In this article, we’ll provide a general overview of the benefits and features offered by some of the best in the industry. You can easily compare and contrast the digital stethoscopes available and pick the one that meets your needs.
- What to Look for When Buying an Electronic Stethoscope:
- Where to Buy The Best Stethoscopes for Nurses
- The Best Electronic Stethoscopes for Nurses
What to Look for When Buying an Electronic Stethoscope:
Let’s check out a few key features you should look for when buying an electronic stethoscope.
Popular stethoscopes utilize sophisticated transducers in order to provide clinicians with the ability to amplify heart murmurs, lung sounds, etc. These tiny devices help transform acoustic sound waves to digital electronic signals, which can then be amplified, processed, and manipulated in various ways for a superior listening experience.
Ambient noise handling and reduction
Although amplification, in isolation, is a remarkable feature, it also causes a slightly distressing issue: the likelihood of amplification of sharp, loud, ambient noises, such as the whir of a fan, under some circumstances, could cause significant damage to ears. To mitigate this risk, electronic stethoscope manufacturers have come up with digital stethoscopes capable of eliminating unwanted sounds in an auscultatory process thanks to their background noise filtering and attenuation mechanism that uses special filters to neutralize ambient noise.
Communication Protocol and Software
The ability to record on board, transfer auscultated sounds by leveraging wireless connectivity to software suites, save files while connected to a computer, and share audio sounds with remotely placed specialists in real-time is where some electronic stethoscopes stand out. These complementary software packages make it possible to record and forward sounds in real-time so you can seek opinions from your peers, listen to tracks at half or full playback speed, visualize heart sounds as a spectrogram or phonocardiogram, attach these files to a patient’s medical records and more.
Many earlier forms of electronic stethoscopes were highly susceptible to fail in the event of battery failure, which may cause inconvenience to the clinician or even make the device completely useless. But all the market leaders guarantee a longer battery life even when used more than 25 times a day, 5 days a week, with a single AAA battery.
Ease of use
A user-friendly electronic stethoscope should have easy-to-use controls and dedicated buttons to adjust volume up/down, power on/off, and change mode between bell/diaphragm right on the head.
Where to Buy The Best Stethoscopes for Nurses
The best place to buy a stethoscope is usually Amazon. You will get your gear in just a day or two when you use Amazon Prime, and that’s super convenient when you are a busy nurse. Direct from the manufacturer is also a great option. Often, you can get the best price by shipping directly with the vendor since they won’t have to split any revenue with Amazon. Sometimes, they offer exclusive coupons you can only get on their site. For example, our friends at EKO offer exclusive discounts to their email subscribers. I recommend checking both the vendor’s site and Amazon.
The Best Electronic Stethoscopes for Nurses
Now that you know what to look for when buying electronic stethoscopes, let’s look at the top-rated brands and why so many nurses love them.
Here are some of the best electronic stethoscopes on the market.
The 3M™ Littmann® CORE Digital Stethoscope combines the best 3M Littmann stethoscope technology with advanced Eko digital innovations. It has analog and amplified listening modes, with digitizing abilities (noise cancellation and 40X amplification), and pairs with the free Eko app for a wide range of possibilities, including recording, transferring, and visualizing sounds. Note that no sound is recorded on the attachment but passes audio signals to the mobile app. These recordings can be captured and stored in a patient’s medical record, which is great if you work in a cardiology office.
Promo Code for the EKO Stethoscopes
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The Stemoscope is one of the most unique stethoscopes on our stethoscope round-up. This tiny device is a portable Bluetooth stethoscope that works with an app on your phone. It’s also one of the most affordable stethoscopes on our list, clocking in at only $60 bucks. Considering this is also a digital stethoscope, this is a steal. Why not just have this in your pocket at all times?
Thinklabs ONE is an electronic stethoscope with unparalleled sound quality. Its 100X amplification with adjustable volume controls lets you set the required augmentation for each patient and provides all the power you need to overcome challenges such as tiny murmurs, faint sounds, noisy settings, and obese patients. Moreover, you can use your headphones with it since the design doesn’t feature bulky stethoscope tubing.