Where do you carry your stethoscope?

ExpatMedic0

MS, NRP
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Hey Guys,
For those of you who bring a personal stethoscope with you while on duty, where do you carry it? Personal Bag? Neck? Cargo Pocket? Other?
I've been keeping mine in my personal bag and then shoving it in my cargo pocket if I think I'm going on a call where I need it. The problem with my method is occasionally it has caught me without it (its back in the rig in my personal bag) when I need it. Or it is in my cargo pocket being bulky and uncomfortable.
 

CCCSD

Forum Deputy Chief
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I had earplugs formed and made and attached to my Stethoscope tubing. It rolls up into a small size and fits anywhere.
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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Ground job, I leave it on the back of the gurney. In my area the gurney gets taken in on every single call. If I need it, it is easy to grab. If I don’t need it, it’s out of way and won’t get left behind.

Flight job, I toss it in my pocket since we don’t have a gurney that we take in and our bags are already packed to the brim. Our flight suit pockets are absolutely massive and can fit an iPad mini in the majority of the pockets.
 

mrhunt

Forum Lieutenant
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Its hanging on the "catchers net" of the ambulance. Theres one in our jump bag thats ****ty thats never used.

I typically never carry it on my person although i had a critical pt a few days ago where i ended up having it around my neck cause i was doing lung sounds pretty frequently and went into hospital like that and i ended up sorta feeling like a tool. Lol.
 

NPO

Forum Deputy Chief
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having it around my neck ... i ended up sorta feeling like a tool. Lol.
I've never understood this. If you're on a call and providing patient care, that's totally appropriate. I guess you're the "tool" who does a good assessment? I'm not saying wear it around the station or into McDonalds, but with a patient? I've got no problem with that
 

mrhunt

Forum Lieutenant
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Yeah. I just felt akward walking Handing off pt care to an awaiting trauma team like that for some reason. I dunno.

But very valid point. And you AGREE that im a tool! AHA! (jk)
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
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604
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I typically never carry it on my person although i had a critical pt a few days ago where i ended up having it around my neck cause i was doing lung sounds pretty frequently and went into hospital like that and i ended up sorta feeling like a tool. Lol.

There are a few reasons why you don't see many ED/Trauma/Critical Care clinicians wearing a stethoscope around their neck, it doesn't have to do with looking like a tool.

The oil in you skin tends to harden and crack the tubing on stethoscopes.

When you run the stethoscope bounces, is annoying, and will fall off of your neck; same for CPR.

There is a tendency to buy heavier stethoscopes (I prefer a harvey DLX myself), this gets rather uncomfortable quickly.

There are typically far more clinicians for any critical patient than number of clinicians that need to listen to lung sounds. Not every tech, nurse, PA, NP, Doc, and RT in the room need to take a turn. If I'm just putting in a line and giving blood then I don't need to listen; more stethoscopes just add clutter.

It can be used as a choking implement by a psych patient.

Stethoscopes should be cleaned in between uses. I should be cleaning it between every patient, and I shouldn't have it handing on my body and then put it on a patient without cleaning it. Likewise I wouldn't put it around my neck after using it on a patient without cleaning it first. In the ICUs we don't even use personal stethoscopes, we have one that stays in the patient room all of the time.

Yes, we mock the nurses and residents who take a picture for their facebook or resume with a stethoscope around their neck. That doesn't translate to EMS, (not when they bring in patients, if it's on the facebook I'll still have a laugh).
 

DragonClaw

Emergency Medical Texan
2,116
363
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I would keep mine on me. I like to ascultate interesting or suspicious breath sounds. But I'd leave it places or it would slide off my neck and it wasn't a good thing.

I have a belt holster and at first I felt like a tool. But then people from my company or other services came up to me asking about it and how that's exactly what they needed and stuff. They loved it.

I felt like less of a Ricky rescue. Not that I'd have taken it off if folks gave me trouble about it.

The one I bought is not for sale anymore but Amazon has a few full grain leather ones.

Some different styles are plastic/kydex and have an actual spot to rest the bell.

I wipe mine down after every use

 

mrhunt

Forum Lieutenant
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I've seen stuff like that. Interesting concept but feel like it would get in the way on the belt or get smashed / bent frequently causing damage?...
 

DragonClaw

Emergency Medical Texan
2,116
363
83
I've seen stuff like that. Interesting concept but feel like it would get in the way on the belt or get smashed / bent frequently causing damage?...

Still testing that. It is pretty secure on the belt and if gotten used it it. Only thing is to make sure I don't belt myself into it through the steth when I'm driving.
 

Jim37F

Forum Deputy Chief
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Back when I worked private ambulance, and they had the basic, cheapo steths and BP cuffs, I bought my own Littman and BP cuff set (one where the Guage and handpump were attached together so you only had one tube to deal with, could always see the reading without trying to clip in wherever while juggling those two plus the steth... just made everything easier).

Anyways I kept my Littman in the BP cuff case, and left them in the back of the ambulance, usually on the shelf next to suction and whatnot. Sometimes on the bench seat.

On scene I'd just use the basic cuff and scope the company bought and had in the bags (and keep my good ones for the noisy/bouncy ride lol).

Of course the trick was to remember to grab the kit at the end of shift, somehow I managed to not lose it, I'm fairly certain if I left it there, it would have been long gone by the next shift lol
Screenshot_20200614-112731_Gallery.jpg
Screenshot_20200614-112847_Gallery.jpg
 

Jim37F

Forum Deputy Chief
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I never quite got the hang of hanging a stethoscope around my neck. It either kept falling off, or if I put the prongs around my neck either the bell kept bouncing off my chest, being always in the way and uncomfortable, and if I tried putting that over my shoulder, it'd still always just fall off.

Its fine putting on for a min or two to get the cuff on and take a BP and lung sounds or whatever, but more than a min or two of inuse, it was always better for me to just take the steth off.
 

joshrunkle35

EMT-P/RN
583
169
43
In my EMS (ground) job, I keep it in my personal bag. I use whatever cheap stethoscope is with the gear and I go grab mine if there is something serious I am having trouble hearing.

In my nursing job, I wear it around my neck until I use it, then I leave it on the counter and clean it before I leave the room, then back on my neck. I keep it in my pocket for any altered mental status or behavioral patient.
 

medichopeful

Flight RN/Paramedic
1,863
255
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At my ground job, I keep it in my right thigh pocket. If I left it on the stretcher or on the net in the ambulance, I would forget it.

At my flight job, it goes in my right ankle pocket. @DesertMedic66 is right, those pockets are massive and can carry anything.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
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Lately I haven't even take it out of my bag. Just one more thing to clean. Usually it rides on the dash (station so no sun issues) and if I think I'll need it I grab it. We have decent Littmanns in the bags and in back so really I'm pretty set.
 

RocketMedic

Californian, Lost in Texas
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Neck and the dash.
 

mrhunt

Forum Lieutenant
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Where im at, leaving a stethascope on the dash will result in a puddle of melted rubber pretty quickly.
Leaving literally anything on the dash will result in Extreme heat damage. Seen it before, not pretty. Lol.
 
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