Two nurses wearing new stethoscopes.

8 Signs You Need a New Stethoscope

Your stethoscope has supported you through hundreds of patient exams, helping you hear thousands of heartbeats and belly gurgles. How do you know when it’s time to replace one of your most-used medical instruments? We turned to 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope Facebook page fans for some crazy, but true, reasons their trusted tools required an upgrade. (If you have a story of your own, share it with us on here)

While we got some great responses, here are some of the more curious reasons we received:


  • Raided: Your stethoscope was stolen… by a colleague. We’ve heard this story a lot! It may be an honest mistake, but it’s still frustrating when your stethoscope walks off… sometimes never to be heard from again.
  • Literally dogged: Your dog ate it. While this sounds like a joke, it’s a story reported on Facebook!
  • Weather-beaten: Your stethoscope has been baked by the sun on the dash of your car or when hanging around your rearview mirror.
  • Adhesive-adorned: It has been with you forever and is now held together by duct tape.


Even if you’ve been able to protect your stethoscope from real-life realities of doctors, dogs, daylight and duct tape, it may be time to upgrade. Here are 8 practical reasons to invest in a new stethoscope:

If you haven’t stayed current with changes in the stethoscope market, you may not be aware there are models available with single-piece diaphragms, next-generation tubing and improved acoustics. If this is news to you, it’s time to see and hear what you’ve been missing. Next-generation tubing, for example, provides improved resistance to skin oils, alcohol and stains for longer tubing life.

Keeping your stethoscope current is an important investment in your future. That’s especially true if you find your colleagues are hearing things through auscultation exams you’re not, or if advanced diagnostic tests are uncovering things you’ve missed. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably time for a new stethoscope.

If you’ve spent time improving your listening skills, reward yourself with a stethoscope that can help you leverage your advanced auscultation skills to their fullest potential. New stethoscope technology can make it easier for you to perceive hard-to-hear sounds in the body.

Your stethoscope goes with you everywhere. It’s part of you. It stands to reason it should express your unique style and personality. There are dozens of color and finish combinations. Choose one that makes your Littmann Stethoscope truly yours.

Whether you’ve earned a promotion, achieved a noteworthy professional accomplishment, switched clinical specialties or reached a significant milestone in your life (birthday, anniversary or accomplished a major personal goal), treat yourself to new stethoscope to commemorate life’s most meaningful moments.  

It’s not always practical to take your stethoscope with you on the go. Yet, you never know when you’ll need it, so accessibility is important. To ensure you’re never without one, purchase multiple stethoscopes. Keep one in the office, one in the car and one in your bag.

If your stethoscope is wearing you out, literally or figuratively, it’s time to move to a lighter-weight option.

It’s just time. You’ve had your stethoscope for a number of years and you want a new one.

Ready to upgrade your stethoscope?

Buy online or find a dealer near you.