Where do you keep your stethoscope?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by agranulocytosis, Apr 17, 2009.

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  1. agranulocytosis

    agranulocytosis 7+ Year Member

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    I was shadowing an Emergency physician before clinicals, and the only advice he gave to me was to not wear my stethoscope around my neck. He gave some weird diatribe about posers and compensation, but I just sort of laughed it off. Now that I'm in clinicals, I guess I remember his ranting and keep my stethoscope in my coat pocket, which I find to be much more comfortable than being around my neck.

    Where do you guys keep your stethoscopes?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
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  3. asmallchild

    asmallchild Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    I've never understood why wearing the stethoscope on the neck is considered to be such a huge no-no. I still tend to keep it around my neck if I'm doing pre-rounds. Once I know I'm definitely done with it, the stethoscope goes back in the pocket. I've seen some surgeons and ER physicians use a holster type device. Now that I clearly know is unacceptable! :)
     
  4. Based on my observations, most IM people wear it around the neck while surgeons usually pocket it. But then us IM folk have lots of other goodies in our pockets too. :D
     
  5. SoCuteMD

    SoCuteMD 10+ Year Member

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    No more rounding!
    In my closet in the pocket of my white coat :D

    Such is the life of a 4th year!
     
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  6. TXDO

    TXDO 7+ Year Member

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    It was the weirdest advice I ever known. :laugh:. Why shouldn't you wear around your neck? I can't find any reason to not to. Anyway, I wear it around my neck, put in pocket or anywhere I can think of. :laugh:
     
  7. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel 5+ Year Member

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    You don't wear it around your neck because it carries bacteria. Ever hear of a doctor with a MRSA abscess on the back of their neck b/c of their stethoscope? It definitely happens. Keep it in your pocket or wipe it down often (note: alcohol wipes can break down the rubber over time).
     
  8. smq123

    smq123 Roy Lichtenstein SDN Advisor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    1) It's heavy after a while. I know it doesn't feel like it should be, but it really does get heavy after a long day in clinic.

    2) The oils from your skin will cause the tubing to break down, shortening the life of your stethoscope.

    3) The bacteria from your stethoscope will get on your skin. Considering that could include MRSA and C. diff, that's disgusting.
     
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  9. Buckeye(OH)

    Buckeye(OH) 5K+ Member 10+ Year Member

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    I dont remember how to use a steth. Its either in my bag, or in the back pocket of my scrubs just in case.
     
  10. JustPlainBill

    JustPlainBill Attending 10+ Year Member

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    Or you could do like my first attending in IM did....tucked the bell part under his belt and let the ears part hang down in front of his pants....just slightly lateral to the folded up, months worth census' he had tucked into his belt.....a straw panama hat completed the ensemble...oh, the stethoscope? gold plated......No, I am not kidding....
     
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  11. MasterShakeDO

    MasterShakeDO The Drizzle 7+ Year Member

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    I think he may be referring to this bogus study. One of our professors slipped it into his powerpoint. I think trying to fish your stethoscope from out of your pocket would take the most time.


    Dr. Cool - draping stethoscope around the back of the neck may slow down medical examination reflexes
    Family Pratice News , Feb 15, 2001 by Joanne M. Berger

    Sure, it's trendy to drape your stethoscope around the back of your neck like a hotshot on "ER." But does that cool fashion statement slow down your auscultatory reflexes, compared with traditional, front-and-center stethoscope placement? Pondering that question and fortified with single-malt Scotch and beer, two Canadian researchers dreamed up a time-and-motion study that might settle the matter (Can.

    Med. Assoc. J. 163[12]:1562-63, 2000). They pictured themselves recruiting 100 health professionals from each fashion camp, clocking the time needed to transfer the stethoscope to the functional position, and concluding that the cost of being cool was a 1.3-second delay. Extrapolating that to the entire Canadian health care system, 273,869 hours would be wasted per year if 80% of physicians, nurses, and other clinicians used the cool position--at a total annual cost of more than $20 million. Stop the madness! But how? Health officials might be tempted to appoint "stethoscope police," the researchers noted, but "the costs generated by the resultant bureaucracy would negate any positive financial benefit to the health care system." O Canada, glorious and free!
     
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  12. SLUser11

    SLUser11 CRS 10+ Year Member

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    A surgery resident's perspective:

    I keep my stethoscope in my right white coat pocket on rounds. I'd like to say I clean it often, but really I only clean it after being in an "isolation room," or before listening to babies, etc. That being said, I use an alcohol wipe or industrial "HIV-killer" wipe on it multiple times a day, and it's not broken down at all after 4 years.

    When I'm not wearing a white coat, e.g. on a busy call night, or on a trauma rotation, I either tuck it in the back pocket of my scrub pants (which is less than ideal), or I use a hip clip, which is the best $4 I've ever spent, regardless of how silly it looks.

    It's true that there is a general distaste in surgery for wearing it around your neck, but there's no good reason for it......it's just part of the "us versus them" mentality, and I've heard it referred to as a "flea collar" a million times.

    For me personally, the tubing irritates my neck, so it's out of the question. I guess you could get a cute little cover like the nurses, but I know for sure that I couldn't pull it off.
     
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  13. It'sElectric

    It'sElectric 10+ Year Member

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    In my white coat pocket. I think I dislike wearing it around my neck for the same reason I dislike wearing a white coat (unfortunately, I'm forced to do that at this point).

    I actually saw one EM doc with an interesting set-up - it was a belt clip of sorts made specifically for stethoscopes. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
     
  14. It'sElectric

    It'sElectric 10+ Year Member

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    We post at the exact same time, and you answer my very question. Thank you. I'm pretty sure I'll be buying one of those. Perfect for scrubs.
     
  15. agranulocytosis

    agranulocytosis 7+ Year Member

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    Haha, yeah I read that one too. I think it originally appeared in The Onion, but I could be mistaken.

    But the main thrust of his argument was the image of the steth around the neck being some sort of representation of a phallic symbol. Like I said, just laughed it off.
     
  16. agranulocytosis

    agranulocytosis 7+ Year Member

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    Attendinghood is so worth it, just for the ability to do that without consequence.
     
  17. agranulocytosis

    agranulocytosis 7+ Year Member

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    A couple of the residents where I'm rotating at sport these clips, and I don't find them that goofy-looking at all. In fact, they'd probably help to counter the weight of my pager clipped on the other side of my scrub pants so that my pants won't tend to droop to one side.
     
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  18. Jamers

    Jamers Sexy Man 10+ Year Member

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    Don't you wear a collared shirt or your white coat? If so, both have a high enough collar that the tubing shouldn't touch your skin. I wear mine around neck. It is just so much easier to reach and I don't have to fish for it in my pockets.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  19. Snuffbox

    Snuffbox 2+ Year Member

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    I'm going to do IM, and I rock my stethoscope in my white coat pocket. When I wear scrubs, I try to pocket that bad boy in my pant pocket but its not as good a fit.

    It's the best use for my white coat to be honest... a glorified stethoscope holder.
     
  20. smq123

    smq123 Roy Lichtenstein SDN Advisor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    I'm a girl, so no, I don't wear a collared shirt everyday.

    No, don't wear a white coat every time, either. Even if I did, the white coat I have doesn't have a high enough collar that the tubing never touches my skin.
     
  21. asmallchild

    asmallchild Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    These things need to be wiped down? :scared:

    My plan is to continue to keep my stethoscope away from handiwipes and as soon as I complete intern year, I'll donate my stethoscope to ID for analysis :smuggrin:

    You know, assuming I stay abscess free :laugh:
     
  22. TXDO

    TXDO 7+ Year Member

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    Thank you for expanding my opinion. It's a reason I don't understand why people in here complain about irritating and infection.
     
  23. Kedan

    Kedan 2+ Year Member

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    I wear mine around my neck. Nobody ever really says anything because, apart from the IM crew, it seems like everyone else threw away their steth when they graduated. Especially the surgeons, they're always borrowing one from a med student.
     
  24. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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  25. Jamers

    Jamers Sexy Man 10+ Year Member

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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  26. m250

    m250 2+ Year Member

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    My stethoscope lives on the floor in the back seat of my car. I hate carrying a stethoscope around almost as much as I hate looking at EKGs...
     
  27. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Stethoscope --> outer right pocket.

    Anecdotally, it seems like the people who wear it around the neck are the ones who have the least reason to (eg first year med students doing their "early clinical experience" stuff, nursing students, etc). They still think it's a positive status symbol
     
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  28. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    1. I've never noticed it. I often forget it's there.

    2. It's not touching my skin. I wear a white coat, on top of a collared shirt, so the scope is outside both of those layers.

    3. See 2.


    Everybody on my surgery rotation kept it in their pocket, so I just went with the flow, but nobody ever made a comment to anyone when it was around their neck.
     
  29. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    maybe it's a regional thing, because tons of people have it around their necks here
     
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  30. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Here, everyone except surgeons carries it around there neck. Everyone includes IM, peds, FM, ob/gyn ... I always carry it around my neck, but I guess I'll switch for my surgery rotation.

    And like my white coat, I'm dreaming of the days where I don't have to carry one ever again.
     
  31. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel 5+ Year Member

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    :thumbup:

    Not to mention that scrubs aren't collared either.
     
  32. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna 7+ Year Member

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    I'm on surgery right now and I wear mine around my neck. Nobody has yelled at me about it. At least not yet, still one week to go :)
     
  33. BigRedBeta

    BigRedBeta Why am I in a handbasket? 7+ Year Member

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    I'm a guy going into pediatrics. Little kids tend to get anxious around white coats, so I try to avoid wearing mine particularly in clinic...thus my stethoscope goes around my neck. However on inpatient, I have quite a few things I tend to carry around with me, so I usually wear my white coat, and then out of habit my stethoscope goes around my neck.
     
  34. jonb12997

    jonb12997 I'm a doctor!! 10+ Year Member

    I'm working in the ER right now. I find I wear my scope around my neck while I'm working seeing patients. If I ever leave the ER to run to lecture, the cafeteria, etc. I usually put it back into my pocket, or if I take off my white coat to suture or something, I'll stick my scope into my pocket and leave it there until I need it again...
     
  35. WhatUpDoc!

    WhatUpDoc! The Sign Says It All 10+ Year Member

    I rock mine around the neck at all times. It takes up a full pocket on my coat, feels bulky (which makes rising from some chairs a pain), and has a bad habit of "unrolling" itself and catching on door handles often. On surgery, I would have it around one shoulder because my chief resident told me that "you will not look like a friggin IM resident while on my service!" and she compromised with my one shoulder idea
     
  36. howelljolly

    howelljolly 7+ Year Member

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    None of the above.

    I keep mine hanging from my neck, not over it... with the binaurals on both sides, and the tubing hanging vertically in front of me.

    It gives me a free pocket, and I can forget that its there.

    I dont like draping it over my neck. For me, it doesnt balance well on each side, and tends to slide to one side, and end up on the floor. I also dont like the feel of it over my neck when Im wearing scrubs.


    One of my IM attendings once ranted about how stethoscopes shouldnt be kept in pockets... that they should be kept around the neck. He was very concerned with looking and acting doctor-like. A little nit-picky, but he did have a point.
     
  37. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    The way I heard it, traditionally the IM people wore stethoscopes on their necks, the surgeons pocketed them (if they carry them at all). Many surgeons call IM folks "fleas" because they are always hovering around the patients when they come to consult, and the stethoscope is the "flea collar". The only time I was told to put my stethoscope away out of sight was on surgical rotations. ALL EM physicians I ever worked with wore the scopes out because they rarely wore their white coats.
     
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  38. Samoa

    Samoa 10+ Year Member

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    Left pocket of my white coat. Except on neurosurgery, when I didn't carry it at all (woohoo!), and on my ER rotation, when I wore it around my neck because I never wore a coat.
     
  39. Pompacil

    Pompacil Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    If you're concerned about MRSA skin colonization from your stethescope, I hate to tell you this but that ship sailed on your first day of MS3.
     
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  40. snurpy

    snurpy 2+ Year Member

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    I haven't done rotations yet, but as an EMT in an urban area, I was told not to put my steth around my neck for fear of our more colorful patients grabbing hold and choking me. I can see this happening in the ER more often than IM or surgeons might see.
     
  41. Cathy_24

    Cathy_24

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  42. Psai

    Psai Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    lmao southernsurgeon dropping knowledge in 2009
    so true but i keep it around my neck when i know i'm gonna be using it a lot. normally keep it in my right pocket
     
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  43. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    There's a "holster" you can get at scrub stores. I bought one third year and medical students teased me until they saw other physicians/medical staff using it. It's an awesome thing to have when you don't have a coat and need to carry a stethoscope. If I don't have that, I just stick in my back pocket of my scrubs.
    I don't do the flea collar thing. It's just... no.
     
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  44. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

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    @SLUser11 commented even earlier: 2005!
     
  45. swoopyswoop

    swoopyswoop 2+ Year Member

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    my favorite was the student who carried his around his neck on inpatient psychiatry during which we never touched any patients. the weird part was he must have put it around his neck every morning but somehow never considered the absurdity of his actions.
     
  46. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    Also how dangerous it can be. They even told us not to wear ties when doing psych.
    Though all my patients were nice and so much fun to be with. Minus the guy who was mid 20s and liked the same music I did. It was disturbing because we had similar interests and he wasn't right in the head.
     
  47. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum 2+ Year Member

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    Psych pts are people too...
     
  48. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
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  49. 22031 Alum

    22031 Alum At the baby factory. 7+ Year Member

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    There was an unfortunate period as an MS3 when I decided to emulate an attending I liked, and wore my stethoscope draped over one shoulder. Bell end resting on my chest (on a boob, let's be honest), earpiece end dangling against a shoulderblade. Just thinking about it fills me with self-loathing.
     
  50. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It 7+ Year Member

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    That's my point. I could relate so much to this guy that I had a hard time seeing him as just a psych patient.
     
  51. touchpause13

    touchpause13 nolite te bastardes carborundorum 2+ Year Member

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    I think you have to find some amount of balance and obviously with psych boundaries are huge. Yes he's not your friend he's your pt, but also seeing the similiaries and acknowledging them is helpful for having empathy for him as well as breaking down stigma. At the end of the day it's a lot harder to lump all psych pts into the crazy bucket if you see them as people just like everyone else who happen to have a particular disease. I guess I don't see how helpful it actually is to put that label on people as their end all be all. Yes they have a disease, but it tends to come along with a lot of bull**** cultural baggage than other types of diseases and I think it's important to be cognizant of that stigma.
     
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