A Littmann Stethoscope is a popular brand of stethoscopes used by health care professionals such as nurses and doctors. The Littmann stethoscope was developed by Dr. David Littmann in 1963. So the Littmann Stethoscope has been around along time and is a very trusted brand among nurses….me in particular.
If you are a nurse or nursing student you have probably already noticed that most nurses use either Littmann or Prestige stethoscopes. Most nurses wear their stethoscopes around their necks for easy access. I wear mine around my neck because it is easy to find when I need it in an emergency.
So what is all the fuss about Littmann Stethoscopes any way? Why are the used so much among nurses? Does Littmann make an electronic stethoscope? Where can I buy a Littmann Stethoscope?
Above are pictures of the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope (first picture) and the regular Littmann Nursing Stethoscope (bottom picture). I personally love the 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope Lilac colored because it is so light weight (doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a ton of bricks around my neck), easy to use during my routine assessments and when taking manual blood pressures, and it isn’t super long which helps improve lung and heart sounds (it is only 28 inches).
The cool thing about this stethoscope is that the diaphragm is a tune-able type of diaphragm which means it alters between high and low frequency sounds with out even having to turn over the chest piece which is so darn convenient.
Also another plus (mainly for your patients) is that the diaphragm and bell are “non-chill” so you won’t freeze your patient to death when you listen to their heart, bowel, and lung sounds. Because how many times have you heard “oh that is cold” when you are trying to assess your patient lol.
Another reason I love this stethoscope is because it is cheap in price (usually less than $50) which is amazing compared to other prices of Littmann Stethoscopes and it gets the job done as a nurse. But if you are looking for a fancier type of Littman Stethoscopes such as the Master Cardiology (perfect for cardiac nurses), Classic II for Pediatric and Infants, or other Lightweight Littmann Stethoscopes.
Electronic Littman Stethoscope
However, some people prefer the Electronic Stethoscopes. I work with a couple of nurses who have this type of stethoscope and they say they would never go back to a non-electronic stethoscope. From what I have read about the electronic Littmann Stethoscope I might consider switching to it in the future.
*See disclosure at the end of this post.
Here is why: Apparently this stethoscope reduces background noise by 85 percent which is amazing because when I listen with my stethoscope I find that background noise such as the patient’s TV, family members talking, outside noise in the hallway and phones ringing interfere with my ability to hear heart, lung, and bowel sounds.
Plus this electronic stethoscope amplifies sounds up to 24 times than regular stethoscopes which again is amazing because I tend to miss those faint sound such as gallops with my regular stethoscope.
Lastly, another cool thing about this stethoscope is that it has a LCD display that show you your patient’s heart rate (totally awesome especially if your patient isn’t on a cardiac monitor), frequency selection, sound level, and battery life. I personally think electronic stethoscopes will become the future for nursing and it will be the norm for everyone to have one.
I think the reason Littmann stethoscope are the most popular among nurse is due to the fact they are lightweight, provide great sound, and great quality at a decent price (considering you get what you pay for…spend $15 on a stethoscope and be prepared not to hear heart, lung, and bowel sound that great).
Also they offer many different varieties of stethoscopes for different specialties of nursing example: they have stethoscopes specifically made for the cardiac, neonate, pediatric nurses….along with the electronic stethoscope.
*Disclosure: The items recommended in this article are recommendations based on our own honest personal opinion and experience. We are an affiliate with Amazon.com, and when you buy the products recommended by us, you help support this site.