How to Choose the Right Stethoscope for Medical Students
Students in the medical field, whether to become a doctor, nurse, or specialist, are required to learn how to use a wide range of tools and devices in order to function in their desired profession. One of the most important, and most common, tools among all medical professionals is the stethoscope. This guide covers some important factors to take into consideration when looking for the best student stethoscope.
Think About the Features
The best way for students to start is by creating a list of all the features that are most important for them and their particular field of study. For example, someone studying to be a cardiologist may want a stethoscope with an open bell that supports different attachments. On the other hand, someone who wants to move into emergency medical services may want a more compact and portable stethoscope. By creating a list of all the most valuable features, you can ensure that you will choose a model that best lines up with the concepts and practices you will be learning.
Remember the Usability
Finding a stethoscope that is easy to use is important for several reasons, starting with the fact that it will help you focus more on learning the how and why behind the use. If you have a model that you are uncomfortable with, or that isn’t comfortable to wear, you will be focusing more on those issues and less on learning how to detect abnormalities in a patient’s lung based on the sounds you hear, or on any other aspect of medical diagnostics.
Keep Durability in Mind
As a student, you are most likely going to be putting your equipment through a lot of heavy use, as well as some additional wear as a result of the student lifestyle. Whether it’s tossing the stethoscope in your backpack along with books and other equipment, or taking it on and off hundreds of times in a day while completing practical hours requirements, you definitely want a strong and sturdy model. Stick to stethoscopes made of a strong metal and preferably PVC tubing.
Don’t Forget About Weight
The weight of the stethoscope is also very important, as you don’t want one that is going to cause you any discomfort while you wear it. There can actually be a significant difference in weights between models, so always remember to check the rating along with other specifications so that you don’t end up purchasing one that will pull down on your ears.
Consider the Price
Every student knows the hardships to managing finances, between tuition, books, and most certainly the cost of all the various materials. In most cases, students will want to look for a stethoscope that is as affordable as possible. However, the cost should never be the most important factor under consideration, since there is the chance that the student will continue to use the stethoscope long after completing their education. It may be worthwhile to spend a little more on a particular model in order to get one with a certain feature or aspect that will allow them to keep using it for many years to come.
Making the Selection
Remember that there is a strong possibility that you are going to have to replace your stethoscope due to an unforeseen event, or simply because you lost it while traveling between classes. Just knowing this can help you keep the right perspective while shopping, and prepare yourself for any additional purchases.