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The Difference Between Stethoscopes for Nurses & Doctors

Photo: The Difference Between Stethoscopes for Nurses & Doctors
When you do not work in the healthcare industry, all stethoscopes look pretty much the same. However, there can be minor differences between the stethoscopes used by nurses and those used by doctors. To help you understand the differences, we have summarised the main differences between doctor and nurse stethoscopes.

Regular and Hi-Tech Stethoscopes for Doctors

Most doctors will make the choice between two types of stethoscopes: the basic stethoscope and the hi-tech stethoscope. Naturally, these stethoscopes have some differences when compared to one another too, so let us take a closer look at their main characteristics.

Basic stethoscopes are the ones often used by students. They do not have many frills and extra features, since all they due is amplify noise detected during a physical examination. Still, even though they are the absolute basic in stethoscope technology, many doctors prefer them over more expensive versions with additional features.
Hi-tech stethoscopes usually come with a bunch of extra features; for example, an electronic stethoscope that allows you to amplify the sound electronically by 85%. While not all doctors require such a stethoscope, there are some physicians who will prefer a hi-tech stethoscope because of a specific feature that proves useful for their specific field. For example, a cardiologist may require a hi-tech stethoscope with an ability to amplify sound.

When looking for a stethoscope, most physicians will look for two qualities in their stethoscope. The first quality is amplification. The second is noise reduction, which proves useful for doctors who work in noisy environments such as the emergency unit of a hospital.

Durability Matters Most for Nurses

Nurses and doctors may fulfil different roles in a medical environment, they both have an important role to fulfil with the ability to save lives. Therefore, a good stethoscope is just as vital for a nurse as it is for a doctor.

There are a few features nurses will look for in their stethoscope, but the main feature will be durability. Nurses usually have to cover a lot of ground in the medical environment they work in, so durability for a stethoscope is key for such an environment.

To ensure maximum durability for their stethoscope, nurses will choose stethoscopes made from a durable tubing material as well as a chestpiece with a robust construction. The stethoscope must also have an outstanding flexing ability, since nurses can flex a stethoscope several times a day.

Of course, nurses also need some degree of amplification on their stethoscope. The amplification must be sufficient to listen to pulse and heart rate. Therefore, nurses usually do not need the more advanced stethoscopes with enhanced amplification.

The True Difference Between a Nurse’s and Doctor’s Stethoscope

The information provided above makes it clear what the difference is between a doctor’s and nurse’s stethoscope – specialisation. Some doctors require a stethoscope with additional features; for example, a cardiologist will need additional sound amplification and noise reduction. Nurses will need the basics, but they must have a stethoscope with added durability. So, the answer to the question always depends on the needs of the clinician in question.

To view more of the information about stethoscopes, go to a trusted stethoscope national supplier, Mentone Educational.


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