What to look for in a good stethoscope

What to look for in a good stethoscope

The stethoscope is identifying equipment for a doctor. Whenever you have seen a doctor whether in real life or on TV, you have seen him with a stethoscope. In fact, even in toys, the basic equipment of doctors includes foremost a stethoscope. If a person is wearing a white coat and a stethoscope then you label him to be a doctor without thinking twice.

Do all doctors use the same stethoscope?

Do you like me think that all stethoscopes are similar? I used to think that as they all look the same, they must be the same. But you will be surprised as well that actually they are not only different but individually preferred by doctors. Kind of reminds you of Harry Potter, where each wand was preferred by an individual magician. Similarly, each doctor selects or prefers using a stethoscope by its acoustic ability, and comfort, and ease of use.

Besides, stethoscopes are categorised broadly as:


  • General or classic
  • Cardiology
  • Electronic
  • Teaching
  • Nurse
  • Infant
  • Veterinary

All of these are designed according to the purpose they fulfil and the sensitivity of their tasks. For example, the cardiology stethoscope is more sensitive in acoustic than the classic one. Their pricing is also dependent on their type.

What features define a good stethoscope?

Although choosing a stethoscope is like choosing a glove, one cannot fit all. However, since it is very sensitive equipment and a patient’s diagnosis or life can depend on it, so what you should look for in a good stethoscope generally is similar.

You do need specific points to identify them further but the general overall features regarding the performance and reliability are the same. Here are a few features you should look for; rather make sure of it in any and every stethoscope you choose:


1. Acoustic

The stethoscope is an instrument used to listen to the sound, be it pulse or fluid or abdominal gas etc. The purpose is to listen. So this is the most important feature of any stethoscope. How well the sound of a pulse is handled in the stethoscope and can be heard at the other end is the whole purpose of making a stethoscope.

But selecting the best stethoscope based on its acoustic is not the same for everyone. Do we all have the same hearing ability? Well…. Your answer will be NO of course! So how can we need the same kind of sound sensitive device?

For doctors who have good hearing and the purpose they need to buy the stethoscope for is general, then a classic one can do their work. But a person who has hearing problems will need a hearing impaired one. Similarly, a cardiologist will need a different one and a nurse or a paediatric will need a different one.


2. Materials used

The material used to make a stethoscope should be durable and long lasting. In addition to that the material used, which is usually rubber and aluminium, should be of top quality so it doesn’t affect the weight and acoustic of the stethoscope.

3. Comfort and ease of use

A doctor or nurse will be using a stethoscope most of the time while on duty, when not using it, it will be hanging around their neck. So for their comfort, it should be lightweight. It should also be very easy to use and handle. The earpieces should not be rough and the rubber tubes should not be short and stiff. The purpose of the stethoscope is to enhance their performance, not hinder it.

What to consider while choosing a stethoscope?

Well after all the discussion and details above, I can only summarise that the bottom line is that choosing the right stethoscope depends on the following:


  • What kinds of patients you will be dealing with.
  • What type of environment you will be working in.
  • What amount of money do you have in your budget.

Like all important equipment, you need to protect your stethoscope and keep it clean so it can be used for a longer period and its efficiency doesn’t get affected. Consider it an investment and look after it because getting a good stethoscope can cost you a bit.

You can also personalise it by labelling or getting your initials carved on it. You can do the same for a doctor or nurse and give it to them as a gift!

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.


3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.


Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:


Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.


8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via

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