3M Celebrating 50 Years with Littmann

The 3M Company is celebrating the acquisition of Littmann Stethoscopes 50 years ago. Oh if only Dr. David Littmann was able to see where healthcare and his stethoscopes have gone! I truly wonder what he would think about some of the technology we have today, and what we can and cannot do with it. Innovators like Dr. Littmann never stop. Dr. Littmann would probably still be innovating today if he was still alive. We now have digital stethoscopes, Bluetooth, and a number of other iterations on the stethoscope design that he so famously helped guide.

3M has launched a campaign it calls 50 Years of Listening which is a call for stories from those of us who provide care at the bedside. They are “asking doctors, nurses and healthcare specialists to share personal stories about what listening means to them”. The stories are already beginning to pour in over at littmann.com/50years. Doctors, nurses, and other care providers have the opportunity to share either written testimony or videos about how they have been able to deliver care by listening to their patients.

Littmann gives some prompts which include:

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare?
  • Describe how important the skill of listening is to you, personally and professionally.
  • What makes a great listener?
  • Can you describe a moment where your actions directly impacted the outcome of a patient situation? What happened?
  • Tell us about a life-changing moment in your professional life.
  • Have you experienced an especially gratifying moment in caregiving that you would like to share?
  • Have you experienced an especially harrowing moment in caregiving that you would like to share?
  • Tell us about a moment when you really valued your ability to listen and hear the smallest sounds in your patients.
  • Have you experienced a situation outside of your professional caregiving environment when you were able to provide help in an emergency situation?

You can choose to do either a 400 word write-up or a 90 second video. There are already some very cool testimonials over there, and I am sure some of these will turn into tearjerkers just knowing the nature of the profession we have chosen. Overall this is a very cool project by 3M and a great way to honor the impact of Dr. Littmann and his famous stethoscope design.


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