If you are anything like me 12 hours with a stethoscope around your neck can be a little much. Despite how light most stethoscopes are there is no avoiding the feeling of having something weighing down on your neck. Additionally, the amount of skin oils and sweat that accumulate on the tubing can become a cleanliness issue as well as a comfort factor. Some people may find stethoscope tubing to be an irritant to their skin despite how hypo-allergenic most medical equipment is. In some work environments having a stethoscope around your neck can also be a safety issue. It is possible to tangle a stethoscope on your environment, and they can become a target for a combative or confused patient.
Why do we wear them around our neck to begin with? There are really two primary drivers behind this habit: 1) The need to have the stethoscope readily available for use, and 2) The need to keep track of your stethoscope to prevent it from being lost. I never leave my stethoscope far from where my patients and myself are. While there are some alternatives to the neck, most people resort to attempting to stuff their stethoscope in a lab coat pocket or cargo pocket on scrubs.
ADC has a very nice alternative option for retaining your stethoscope on your person. They have produced a very economical belt clip holder for your stethoscope. The clip is made from a single piece of durable molded plastic. The clip allows for the chestpiece of the stethoscope and the binaurals to be retained a neat loop on your hip. I wear a fairly heavy duty pair of scrub bottoms which have an internal belt. Event with a thick waistband I have had no trouble using this clip. It also fits nicely over a belt when you are working in a clinic or academic setting where you might be wearing a pair of slacks.
For the price this accessory is a nice addition to your toolbox of clinical attire. If you are like me it will offer you an extra place to retain your stethoscope when not in use. I have found the best location on myself has either been the 2 o’clock or 4 o’clock position on my hip to place the stethoscope in the holder. This has helped improve my access to the stethoscope while also reducing the risk of getting caught on something. A quick squeeze is all that is really required to release you earpieces from the holder and can slip your chest piece up and out with ease.