Buying Tips for the Best Affordable Stethoscopes
No matter what your profession or needs, everyone wants to find the highest quality product for the lowest price possible. When dealing with a sensitive and important piece of medical equipment like a stethoscope, this may seem like a nearly impossible task. However, if you follow these simple tips, you can find the best possible stethoscope no matter what kind of budget you are working with.
Avoid Unnecessary Materials
The first thing you should do when looking at a potential stethoscope is check out the materials used in its construction. This can be a great way to ensure that you aren’t paying a higher price for a product that is only offering cosmetic enhancements rather than actually increasing the performance or durability. In terms of the chestpiece and headset, look for models that use stainless steel or aluminum, as these are strong and light without carrying a significant price increase. Any type of rare metal used in a stethoscope is almost certainly done for the appearance rather than purely for the quality of the product.
Stick to Simple Designs
There are a lot of stethoscopes out there that offer different designs for the chestpiece, headset, eartips, and more, all of which can help improve comfort, functionality, or offer other benefits. However, these modifications often carry an increased price. Features such as a teardrop chestpiece to make it easier to check blood flow under a blood pressure cuff are nice to have, but by no means necessary or required to perform the basic, fundamental tasks that are common to daily use. Avoid these features, and you can likely avoid paying a bloated price.
Check the Length of the Tubing
Different models of stethoscopes are going to have different tubing lengths, which doesn’t affect your ability to hear the sounds on the body but does control how much range of motion you have available to you. If you are taller or must sit further away from your patients, then you are going to want a longer stethoscope, meaning that you may have no choice but to pay more for it. However, if the range doesn’t matter to you, then you might be able to work in some sizeable savings by choosing a stethoscope with a shorter tubing length.
Check the Color Options
Regardless of what model of stethoscope you are looking at, you should always check to see if there are different color options available. In many cases, a particular color may be more expansive than the others, or significantly less expensive. This often occurs due to the popularity, or lack of popularity, of certain colors and styles. There is usually no difference between the models in terms of their functionality or performance, meaning that if you don’t mind having a bright green or standard navy blue stethoscope, there’s a good chance you can secure yourself some very significant savings.
Bonus Tip: Locate “Last Year’s Model”
The same concept you might be familiar with in terms of buying cars is also true when it comes to shopping for stethoscopes. Sometimes a manufacturer will update a current model of stethoscope to include new features or materials, and in the process brand it as a new version entirely. In these cases, the older model typically experiences a price decrease in order to clear out old inventory, allowing you to buy a quality product at a lower price without any downsides.