If you're a healthcare provider, you know how important it is to have a good stethoscope. Which stethoscope is best for you will depend on your specific needs, work environment and budget.

One of the major decisions you'll have to make in choosing a stethoscope is between an acoustic stethoscope and an electronic stethoscope. An acoustic stethoscope simply uses a hollow tube to transmit sound between the chest piece and the earpiece, while an electronic stethoscope uses electronic transducers to convert sound waves to electrical signals. Acoustic stethoscopes tend to be less expensive and don't require batteries, and they're adequate for many health care professionals. However, electronic stethoscopes produce louder and clearer sounds, so they're useful if you're in a noisy work environment, have difficulty hearing certain frequencies, or are in a specialty that requires you to distinguish heart, lung and abdominal sounds. Recording stethoscopes are electronic stethoscopes that connect audio output to a recording device so that it can be listened to later on, which can be great for remote consultations or for tracking a patient's progress. If you work in obstetrics, you may need a fetal stethoscope, which is placed on the abdomen of a pregnant woman to hear the fetal heartbeat.

Whatever your needs, you'll find a large selection of quality, affordable stethoscpes at Walmart, along with a wide variety of other patient care products.