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How Do I Choose the Best Used Stethoscope?

A used stethoscope.
A healthcare provider with a stethoscope around his neck.
Article Details
  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing the best used stethoscope is similar to choosing the best new stethoscope in that there are a few steps to follow to ensure you find the right fit. A properly selected used stethoscope should be free of bacteria and microorganisms, reasonable inexpensive, properly functioning, and stylish. There are also variations of stethoscopes, such as custom-made devices or those with multiple ear and chest pieces.

The chest piece is a term sometimes used to describe the part of a stethoscope placed on the region from which sounds are heard. There is also tubing that allows for sound waves to travel to the ear pieces. Health care providers sometimes use stethoscopes with multiple ear or chest pieces to train medical and nursing students so that an instructor and student can simultaneously hear the sounds of the body, ensuring proper technique.

Stethoscopes can be expensive devices, so it is common that those in the medical field purchase stethoscopes used. The most important things to remember when buying a used stethoscope are to be sure that the device works properly and that there are no communicable diseases present. Stethoscopes touch body parts of many patients as well as the ears of the professional using it. This contact can cause viruses and bacteria to be present throughout the stethoscope, and although common practice recommends sterilization of the device after each patient, this is not always the case. For this reason, a used stethoscope should be cleaned thoroughly before use.

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Of course, it is also important to determine if the used stethoscope is functioning properly. You can do this by testing it before purchase. It may also be beneficial to ask the seller why he or she is selling the instrument. If the reasoning is legitimate, then it may be a good purchase.

Style and cost are also factors to take into account when purchasing a used stethoscope. Try to come up with a price range you are willing to spend on a stethoscope, and do your best not to stray from that range. You may have to sacrifice quality if your range is low; however, there are plenty of budget stethoscopes that work just fine.

Style is probably the least important in terms of functionality and safety; however, it may be important to some. Custom stethoscopes, colored stethoscopes, and those with designs all exist, so choosing one you like should also be on your list of priorities. Keep all of these things in mind when choosing a stethoscope that is right for you.

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