Are you wondering whether to keep your stethoscope hanging around your neck or in your pockets? Should the stethoscope be left dangling from your arm and strut around the hospital?
Some nurses feel that putting the stethoscope around the neck is unprofessional. Apart from this, you may want to avoid hanging the stethoscope on your neck for the following reasons:
The Neck Gets Tired
Your neck will protest sooner or later if you usually hang the stethoscope around it. On TV, it looks easy and cool to hang the stethoscope around the neck. However, in real life, after a 12-hour shift, your neck may be tired of the weight of the stethoscope. If you had hung the stethoscope all through the shift, even if it’s the Littmann lightweight model, your neck may begin to sore and stiffen.
Bugs on Your Stethoscope
You may be lucky just to get a neck ache due to hanging the stethoscope around the neck. However, some medical professionals may not be so lucky.
Some doctors and nurses can contract infections from the stethoscope. How?
Well, your stethoscope may have collected from bacteria from the many patients you may have examined. When that bacteria get onto your skin, you may end up suffering from conditions such as C. Diff or MRSA.
Diff commonly affects patients that are in long-term care facilities or hospitals while MRSA infections are common among people who work or visit nursing homes, hospitals and other medical centers or have weak immune systems.
Skin Oil Damages Stethoscope Tubing
Manufacturers discourage hanging the stethoscope on the neck. The oils from your skin can damage the stethoscope tubing and reduce its lifespan.
Therefore, hanging the stethoscope on your neck is not good either for you or the device.
Solution: Get a Stethoscope Holder
The best way to store your stethoscope is on a stethoscope holder or clip. These accessories allow you to attach the stethoscope in places such as your pocket or belt, hence saving your neck.
There are different types of stethoscope holders on the market. Before you buy one, there are a number of things you should keep in mind.
- Some holders are designed to fit only a single type or stethoscope brand. Therefore, if you change your stethoscope from the standard to the single-sided or electronic stethoscope, the holder will not fit. The best stethoscope holder to buy is one that can fit any stethoscope type or brand.
- Some stethoscope holsters are not designed to hold the stethoscope head under vigorous movement. The scope will easily drop out of the holder is you happen to be moving a lot, e.g. running to the OR.
- Some stethoscope holders are a little heavy to clip onto your pants.
Therefore, the best stethoscope holder is one that can fit any stethoscope, will hold your stethoscope in place even when you are running and is lightweight enough to clip on your pants.
We have scoured the internet and compared different stethoscope holder to find the best ones on the market. Below is our list of the best stethoscope holders you can buy.
Best Stethoscope Holders
The Batclip is the best stethoscope holder on the market. This holder allows you to move freely without the risk of your scope falling out. Your conventional stethoscope will easily fit into the holder and stay there securely.
The Bat Clip stethoscope holder has a strong Velcro that is not prone to release itself. Therefore, having your scope out while moving around will no longer be an issue. The accessory is incredibly well-built and solid. The wings secure solidly.
The only potential issue you may have with this accessory is if you are wearing a very thin belt. The clip is made to fit about 2” belt. If your belt is very thin, the accessory may slide depending on the position.
This is the top stethoscope holder that we recommend. You can read our full review of the Bat Clip stethoscope holder here.
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Like the name suggests, the Three Mitten Stethoscope Holders pack has three holders of different colors each (fuchsia, turquoise, and pomegranate). The holder has a lock friction pad that prevents the clip from falling off your scrubs. Using the stethoscope accessory will save you from having to put your stethoscope on your neck.
The Mitten stethoscope holder can be worn on the shirt pockets, scrub waistbands and bets. The holder is easy to clean and durable to withstand damages resulting from falls and daily wear. This is a great holder for students, veterinarians, respiratory therapists, physicians, nurses and other medical professionals.
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The Prestige Medical Holder is easy to clean and allows you to be hands-free, hence eliminating chest tenderness and neck strain often caused by hanging a stethoscope around the neck. The stethoscope holder attaches to the waistband and allows your stethoscope to easily slop in and out.
This stethoscope accessory comes in seven colors (ice, black, pink, royal blue, red, purple, and white) and, therefore, can match the color of your scrub you are wearing. The stethoscope accessory design is simple but well-constructed. The plastic is hard but flexible to allow for clipping.
To hold your stethoscope, you have to squeeze the earpieces together so that they crisscross in order to put them in. From there, you can put in the diaphragm.
The only issue we found out is that, sometimes, our stethoscope got caught up on something when we sat down. But how often do you sit down anyway during your shift? When sitting, you can unhook it from the belt to avoid this problem.
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The ADC Hip Clip Stethoscope holster is lightweight and allows you to be hands-free during your shifts. The lightweight stethoscope holder comes in four different colors (black, white, royal blue, and purple) and is sold with a 1-year warranty.
The stethoscope accessory comes with instructions on how to fit the earpieces in first and then place the bell. The clip catches one everything and makes you look like a gunslinger from the Wild Wild West. This stethoscope holster holds all the popular Littmann and MDF Stethoscopes.
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The Medsound stethoscope holder is a light accessory that can fit the common gear you carry during your shifts, including the stethoscope and penlight. The stethoscope has a tag that will help you identify your stethoscope and comes with a light, which is handy if you usually forget your penlight.
This stethoscope holder is a regular hip-clip accessory that will save your white coat from getting black marks. The accessory is rock solid but the light does not fit all stethoscopes. The light best fits the Littmann Cardiology III.
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Editor’s Verdict: Best Stethoscope Holder
All the above are great stethoscope holders and clips that will save you from getting neck pains due to putting your stethoscope on your neck. Overall, the Bat Clip is the best stethoscope holder. This accessory is solidly made and will fit any type of stethoscope you have.