As an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), you already understand the importance of using precise and accurate tools while diagnosing your patients.
One of the tools you just cannot do without is a reliable stethoscope. An ideal stethoscope should have solid sound isolation, be double-sided so it’s easier to use, and be durable (Source).
So, which of the many stethoscopes available today is ideal for an EMT professional (Source)?
If you are looking for the best unit, you need to consider aspects like the acoustics, material, chest piece, earpieces, and tubing of the various stethoscopes.
Being EMT you must be aware of several other safety kits. If you are using a stethoscope consider buying humidifiers for asthmatics as it helps to ease breathing during asthma or allergies in case of emergency.
Which Is The Best Stethoscope For EMT?
Table of Contents
- 1 Which Is The Best Stethoscope For EMT?
- 2 Comparing The Best Stethoscopes for EMT
- 3 1. 3M Littmann Classic III – Best Overall
- 4 2. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E – Best Entry-Level Stethoscope
- 5 3. Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope – Most Affordable Stethoscope
- 6 4. MDF® Rose Gold MD One Stethoscope – Clear & Crisp Acoustics
- 7 5. ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Clinician Stethoscope – Best AFD Stethoscope
- 8 How Does A Stethoscope Work?
- 9 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Stethoscope for EMT
- 10 Ready to Buy The Best Stethoscope for EMTs?
Whether for personal or professional use, the best stethoscope for EMTs has to be the Littmann Classic III. With a simple and ergonomic design, you can rely on it for listening to low sounds in the body.
With the Littmann Classic III, you get a versatile instrument, which has an adjustable diaphragm. Even the headgear with the earpieces can be adjusted to ensure that it stays conveniently over the ears.
With it, you can expect a durable machine that gives you the convenience of listening to various parts of the body for medical emergencies. Even the tubing is the top grade in quality for ensuring a sensitive tool for listening to acoustic sounds efficiently.
Littmann offers one of the most impressive medical instruments at a reasonable budget for long-term usage.
Comparing The Best Stethoscopes for EMT
|3M Littmann Classic III|
|3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E|
|Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope|
|MDF® Rose Gold MD One|
|ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Clinician Stethoscope|
1. 3M Littmann Classic III – Best Overall
To being with, this stethoscope offers high acoustic sensitivity for outstanding performance. Moreover, it boasts a modern design and tunable diaphragms as well.
Alongside that, it also allows you to adjust the tension of the headset for a customizable and comfortable fit on various head shapes, too.
Consequently, reviews for this stethoscope promote that it is perfect for listening to and identifying and studying body parts like the lungs and the heart. This makes it ideal for diagnosis, patient monitoring, physical assessment, and general use.
2. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E – Best Entry-Level Stethoscope
Just like the other products by this manufacturer, this stethoscope offers remarkable acoustic performance. Hence, its main use would be limited physical assessments in adults and taking blood pressure readings.
Likewise, this tool features a teardrop design which makes it better suited for auscultation around the patient’s blood pressure cuffs. Alongside that, it weighs just above a pound, too.
Therefore, this is the best stethoscope for blood pressure and one of the most lightweight tools available as well.
3. Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope – Most Affordable Stethoscope
With regards to versatility, this stethoscope boasts three open bells of different sizes. Additionally, it comes with two different pairs of ear-tips as well as two diaphragms of different sizes. Hence, this product is a 5-in-1 multi-purpose diagnostic tool.
Moreover, you might love the fact that the tubing in this tool is not made of latex, a material that could trigger allergic reactions in some patients. Plus, the manufacturer offers this product in several chest piece colors, too.
4. MDF® Rose Gold MD One Stethoscope – Clear & Crisp Acoustics
The acoustics provided by this stethoscope, for example, are clear and crisp. This quality makes it ideal for picking bowel, lung, and heart sounds.
Furthermore, this stethoscope does not frustrate regarding its design either: it features a unique stainless steel construction. Additionally, it is equipped with an anatomically angled headset, along with silicone ComfortSeal Eartips which are soft and comfortable to wear for long hours.
Overall, this is the best stethoscope for lung sounds.
5. ADC Adscope 615 Platinum Professional Clinician Stethoscope – Best AFD Stethoscope
Notably, it also features an oversized chestpiece, a CNC precision-machined construction, and the innovative adjustable frequency design (AFD) technology. Likewise, among its manufacturer’s products in the clinical series, this stethoscope is the finest.
Moreover, the quality and performance of this product is backed by a lifetime warranty, which makes it one of the best stethoscopes for emergency medicine and doctors.
How Does A Stethoscope Work?
Stethoscope comprises a tube and a disc that amplifies low and high pitch sounds so that they can be heard clearly. Most stethoscopes include an earpiece, with a tube attached to ahead.
The head of a stethoscope combines two components – a bell and a diaphragm. EMT doctors can use this instrument for hearing sounds from the heart, lungs, etc.
With the bell part, you can amplify sounds with a low pitch, such as heartbeats. Similarly, the diaphragm part of a stethoscope’s head is meant for listening to high-pitch sounds, such as lung sounds.
Whenever the heart beats in an individual, it compresses, thus pumping and circulating the blood with oxygen and other nutrients through the vessels in the body. With the help of the bell, the contraction sounds of the heart are caught and amplified through the tube.
The same is true for the sounds coming from the lungs, for which the diaphragm amplifies the high-pitch sounds.
Things You Must Know Before Buying a Stethoscope for EMT
As a healthcare professional, there are certain tools that you need for you to be more effective at what you do. One such tool is a good stethoscope.
As a matter of fact, a stethoscope is one of the most used diagnostic tools by emergency medical practitioners today.
Your choice of a good stethoscope will mainly be determined by your professional and work requirements. However, there are several other aspects that you need to consider while shopping for the best unit.
Stethoscopes are one of the most important tools for an EMT. It allows listening to the normally inaudible noises the body makes.
However, if you are looking for the best stethoscope for EMT, here are some of the considerations you need to make:
1. The Type of Stethoscope
You probably are aware that there are several types of stethoscopes available today. In this regard, you need to understand that various stethoscope types are designed differently.
As such, each of them will accomplish a different task. Based on your preferences and career requirements, here are some of the types you should consider:
These are commonly used by veterinarians, physicians EMTs, and paramedics. Some of the leading experts in the industry consider Acoustic stethoscopes to be the most reliable because it does not require additional equipment.
Hence, if this is your preferred type of stethoscope, you may need to go for the ones that have a tunable diaphragm which amplifies the sound using pressure variances.
These are relatively simple in design. Most of the fetal stethoscopes available today have a design that resembles a horn or trumpet. As their name suggests, they are designed to detect the faint heartbeats of a baby and may not be used in any other medical application.
As opposed to the mechanical diaphragm used in acoustic stethoscopes, the electronic units use an electromagnetic diaphragm.
This makes the best electronic stethoscopes very effective at detecting low-frequency sounds. However, these units are comparatively costlier due to their complexity and effectiveness.
Cardiology stethoscopes are similar to the acoustic units in design, but allow you to fine-tune the diaphragm to pick up the faintest sounds. Hence, if you work in a loud environment, this may not be the right stethoscope type for you.
3. Parts of the Stethoscope
Having decided on the type of stethoscope you would like to buy, you need to narrow down to individual models. Although the various stethoscopes available today have several parts that are common, they are not all the same.
Basically, the cheaper stethoscope models come with basic versions of such parts. Such models are only suitable for professionals who do not need many features.
The higher-end units, on the other hand, offer a variety of those parts. This being the case, you should ensure that your preferred choice has the parts you need.
In this regard, you need to consider the following parts:
The Chest Piece
When choosing the right chest piece, you will have to choose between the double-headed and single-headed chest piece.
The double-head chest pieces by the leading brands are equipped with a bell on one side and a diaphragm on the other. As such, you may use the bell to listen to low frequencies and the diaphragm for higher frequencies.
If you work with patients of different sizes, it is advisable to go for the stethoscopes with interchangeable chest pieces. This is particularly beneficial for nurses, pediatric practitioners, veterinary professionals, and respiratory therapists.
However, regardless of your preferred chest piece diameter, you should opt for the ones with a non-chill rim. These are considered to be more comfortable for the patients.
As for the earpieces, you can choose either rigid or soft. However, these are available in several sizes. If you are going to be using the stethoscope more frequently, you should consider buying one with interchangeable earpieces.
Additionally, it is advisable to get a unit that allows you to adjust the angle of the earpieces. Such units will offer you a more comfortable and customizable fit.
Style and Length of the Tubing
Most of the best stethoscopes for EMTs today have varying tube lengths that range between 22 to 28 inches. With longer tubing, the stethoscope will drape around your neck and remain in place at all times. However, such a unit will keep you far from the patient you are diagnosing.
Additionally, you should avoid stethoscopes with latex tubing because some people are allergic to latex.
Moreover, you need to choose between the double-bore and the single-bore stethoscope tubing. Alternatively, you can opt for the units with bi-lumen tubes. In such EMT stethoscopes, the two types of tubes are incorporated into one tube. This feature is helpful at preventing noise artifacts.
Again, wider tubes improve the quality of sound delivered by the stethoscope. This is why the wider bi-lumen or double-bore tubing designs are known to offer the best sound quality.
Ready to Buy The Best Stethoscope for EMTs?
The choice of the right stethoscope for EMT will mainly depend on the intended application.
As you have learned in this guide, there are several things that you need to consider while looking for the best one.
Rather than having to try out the hundreds of paramedic stethoscope models available today, you can just choose any of the five reviewed above.
This is because we took the time to select some of the best EMT stethoscopes on the market.
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