The stethoscope is one of the universally recognized tools and symbols of medical professionals around the globe. Compared to many of the expensive and very large equipment utilized by medical professionals, the stethoscope is still one of the most important tools in a medical professional's toolkit. This is because it is many times the first detection system for ailments that patients may be experiencing that can only be picked up with these devices.
Stethoscopes have advanced significantly over time though and currently leverage a wide range of technology to make them perform better and make it easier to store the information they capture. Based on what medical professionals have stated in their reviews, though these more advanced models are significantly higher than their classic counterparts, they are well worth the extra dollars.
So should all medical professionals go out and spend top dollar on a high-end electronic stethoscope? The answer is No. The type of examinations you perform on a regular basis will dictate the type and class you need. Cardiologists that are listening for very low frequency sounds may want to spend the extra dollars for a high-end electronic model or at minimum cardiology class models like the Littmann Cardiology III or the Littmann Master Cardiology. These high quality stethoscopes will allow a doctor to perform more effectively and efficiently and a high end stethoscope is warranted for them.
How about EMTs and Pediatricians, do they need a high end stethoscope? Well while a high-end stethoscope will always make the overall examination process easier, they are not required in this case. A mid-range good quality classic stethoscope, like the Littmann Classic II SE or the Littmann Master Classic II would more than perform adequately. These stethoscopes perform great for performing basic cardiac and pediatric diagnostics.
Medical Students, entry level, and vocation nurses definitely should not buy a high-end stethoscope. It is overkill for their needs and is really a wasted of money. They are well suited with a lightweight and general use quality stethoscope like the Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope or another stethoscope in that class or lower. They will not receive any additional benefits by using an electronic or cardiology stethoscope.
All in all, stethoscopes have advanced significantly across the board. Even the stethoscopes that we consider to be entry level models are far superior in sound quality, performance, and comfort. Stethoscopes have long been and will continue to be one of the most important tools and examination devices utilized by medical professionals and as they continue to advance they will become even more valuable with time.