First and foremost, what is a stethoscope? Now since you’re reading this article, it likely means they are either a respiratory therapist, nurse, student, or someone involved in the medical field in some way, shape, or form.
So, I’m glad you’re here, but you probably already know what a stethoscope is but read this for a second.
A stethoscope is a medical device that is used for auscultation. If you’re not familiar, auscultation is just a fancy way of saying listening to the internal sounds of the body.
The device itself has a disk-shaped resonator that is placed against the skin connected to tubes with your pieces. That’s what makes it possible for medical professionals to listen to human body cells more closely. This is what gives us an idea of the patient’s condition.
Best Stethoscopes for Respiratory Therapists
Below are out top recommendations of the best stethoscopes for Respiratory therapists and medical professionals in 2020.
- 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope
- ADC Adscope 600 Platinum Series Stethoscope
- MDF Rose Gold MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope
- 3M Littmann Stethoscope, Lightweight II S.E. Stainless Steel Chestpiece
- FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope
- MDF Acoustica Deluxe Stethoscope
- Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope
#1. 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope
The compact 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope is perfect for monitoring and assessing children or adults in non-critical condition.
3M Littmann Classic III versatile stethoscope offers exceptional acoustic sensitivity, hours of comfortable use, and comes in a variety of vibrant colors to add character and connection to every assessment.
And just so you know, no one sponsoring us or paid us anything to say. Our recommendation of 3M Littmann Classic III, is only based on the experience of a professional respiratory therapist.
I’ve always found the product to be the best when it comes to getting a high-quality stethoscope at an affordable price. Now my personal favorite is none other than the three M. Littmann classic three stethoscopes.
With this one, the quality is outstanding and, in my opinion, is a better bang for your buck compared to some of the more expensive models.
They offer like the three M. Littmann cardiology models now this one is my favorite, but to be honest, you really can’t go wrong with any of their products.
It has tunable diaphragms on both sides, the adult and the other side for little ones of the chest piece. The pediatric side is useful for small or thin patients, around bandages, and carotid assessment.
Single-piece diaphragm is easy to attach and easy to clean because the surface is smooth without crevices.
Excellent acoustics though bright, quite more expensive than the competition. But if you want good quality and excellent materials you know, pay more.
#2. ADC Adscope 600 Platinum Series Stethoscope
Littmann is no doubt the go-to choice for many respiratory therapists, but if you are looking for other than this brand, take a look at ADC Adscope 600. It has the same quality and features compared to Littmann stethoscopes.
It has the single-sided head, with no extra bells. It is 27 inches long, the standard size. Talking about its colors, you can personalize ADC Adscope 600 by choosing your desired finish and color.
You can choose from three metal finishes, stainless, tactical, or titanium gold plating. You can also choose from nine different tubing colors, depending on the finish.
If you need an affordable stethoscope with premium qualities, look no further. We are amazed by the qualities; it provides a blazing sound, which will blow your mind.
It has a tunable diaphragm, made with fiberglass. It has a rubber piece outside for more protection and clear listening.
Works great on both lower and higher frequencies.
Quality ear-tips, comfortable for all types of ears, small and big. Available in different colors, so choose the one you like.
#3. MDF Rose Gold MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope
To our readers, we mostly recommend Littmann without any hesitation. But some of those are not comfortable with widely trusted brand.
So, we suggest them MDF Stethoscopes, with qualities not less than Littmann.
But if you’re looking for something with a little more style and a bit more flash, you may be interested in the M. D. L. th rose gold MD one premium stethoscope.
This one’s for all the ladies out there I mean I’m a guy, and even I’ll admit I’m not going to lie. This one looks pretty cool for the girls, and now I know young ladies want to be looking good up on the floor is.
We often see around up there, but in all seriousness, I’ve never tested this one, but other nurses and female respiratory therapists that I’ve spoken with have nothing but good things about it.
They talk very highly of the stethoscope, which is why I feel comfortable enough to recommend it to you.
Which Stethoscope Brand is the Best?
Now switch to gears just a bit since you know what this is for. Maybe you haven’t purchased a stethoscope yet, so you may be confused because there are so many different brands out there, so that is why we need to discuss which stethoscope brand is the best quickly.
Now we created a detailed buyer’s guide with reviews of the best at this goes for medical professionals. If you read the article, you’ll notice that one brand to pretty much dominates the entire list in that brand is Littmann.
What is Stethoscopes are Used For?
Stethoscopes are used to listen to the sounds made by an alive being internal body parts. These parts include the heart and lungs. They could also be used to listen to sounds of blood flowing in arteries and intestines, among other things. One more thing stethoscopes can be used with a manual signalman nominator to measure blood pressure.
What are the Parts of a Stethoscope?
What other parts of a stethoscope now know how to use a stethoscope properly? You first need to have a basic understanding of the elements of the device. So pretty much all stethoscopes only have four necessary parts: the diaphragm, bell, earpieces, and tubing.
The diaphragm is the larger side and circular piece at the end of the testing beast, and this is the part that we place on the patient’s skin to listen to.
Which provides the frequencies and sounds that you hear while using a stethoscope.
Then, you have the bell; this is the small end of the tests; it focuses more on lower frequency sounds that the diaphragm may not easily detect.
This position is typically used on NATO patients, where the sounds are more difficult to pinpoint.
And then there are the earpieces.
These are simply the pieces that go into your ears when inserted in the earpieces. They should feel soft and fit perfectly into the ear canal.
And last but not least, you have the tubing. This is what transports the sound transmission from the chess pieces to the earpiece and allows you to hear the sounds.
How to use a Stethoscope
Now that you’re familiar with all the different stethoscopes let’s talk about how to use a stethoscope.
Now the first step is you want to adjust the earpieces. They should be appropriately angled so that an excellent crisp sound can be heard.
A big mistake that I see students and new users make is putting the earpieces and backward, and if you do this, you’ll know because you won’t be able to hear anything. So when stethoscope enters the earpieces, be sure that they are facing forward and assured that they fit snugly in your ear to keep out ambient noise. To help with this, most models have interchangeable earpieces so that you can select a size with the proper fit.
The next step is you want to position the patient.
Making sure that the patient positioned appropriately can make auscultation either very easy or sometimes very difficult. Now, of course, you won’t be able to reposition the patients; in some cases, you’ll have to work with what you got.
But if possible, try to position the patient in a way that makes listening easier, for example, to listen to the patient upright in a relaxed position.
To listen to the heart, manage to have the patient get into the supine position, which means lying horizontally with the face and torso facing up.
Now keep in mind the sounds that you hear. It may sound different depending on the patient’s position, which means that you may listen to a different sounding each position. If the patient is sitting standing lying on their back-line on their side X, Cetera even though the patient’s condition has not changed. If the patient is in a different position, you may hear a different scent, so that is just something to be aware of.
Now, if you work in the hospital, sometimes you have no other choice but to listen through the patient’s hospital gown or clothing. But if possible, try to place the stethoscope directly on the patient’s skin, which will give you the best results.
Now let’s talk about the steps for performing log auscultation.
Now since this is about buying a respiratory therapy stethoscope, and as a respiratory therapist, we primarily use our stethoscope to listen to the locks. With that being our primary focus, let’s go through the steps of how to listen to the lungs properly using a stethoscope.
First, you want to explain the procedure to the patient to establish trust and report, stand close to the patient to gain access to the target area, and in this case, of course, we’re talking about the logs.
Now, if the diaphragm of the stethoscope is cold, you should warm it by rubbing the surface to avoid startling the patient because you may not think about it. Still, sometimes your stethoscopes get very cold, and if you put it straight to the patient’s skin, it could kind of shock and start of them a little bit, so you always want to warm it up a little bit by revving it before you put it to their skin.
The next step is to place the earpieces of the stethoscope in your ears and adjust them as needed.
If your pieces are in place, you can hold the diaphragm firmly against the patient’s skin with enough pressure to have the patient take a slow deep breath through an open mouth. At this point, you want to listen to the sounds and try to identify their intensity location strength pattern and duration.
Do you want to start by first listening to the patient’s anterior side?
Start at the top of the loans and then move down to a broad basis, then you can proceed to do the same thing on the poster on your side.
After listening to the front to back top and bottom, you can compare the patient’s right along to the left lock and compare the anterior to the post to your site.
And last but not least, when you finish listening, you can document the findings in the patient’s chart.
And since this is a respiratory therapy stethoscope buying guide, we’re not going to cover auscultation of the heart and abdomen in this article, even though the process is very similar.
But I just wanted to give you a quick run-through of lung auscultation, so you have an idea of the necessary steps.
You know pretty much everything you need to know about stethoscopes, and hopefully, you found this buying guide to be helpful. So, which stethoscope is your favorite, let us know the comments below because I’m always open to new suggestions.