EMS Tips Students

5 Stethoscope Tips

I can’t think of a single piece of equipment more closely connected with the medical profession than the stethoscope. Can you? The stethoscope is more than 200 years old and its basic design has barely changed in the last 150 years. Read my recent Everyday EMS Tips column at for more on the stethoscope.

Meanwhile, follow these Everyday EMS Tips for stethoscope use and care:

1. Having trouble hearing? Make sure the ear pieces are pointed towards your nose. This is the direction of your ear canals.

2. If the patient’s arm or chest is bloody or contaminated put the bell of the stethoscope in a rubber glove.

3. When not using your stethoscope keep it around your neck or in a pocket.

4. Disinfect your stethoscope regularly. Just like you wash your hands after patient contact you should wash your stethoscope after every patient contact.

5. Don’t press the bell to firmly against the patient’s skin when auscultating a blood pressure. Most times all that is needed is a light touch.

For more great patient assessment tips become a member of the MedicCast Extra. Finally check out the great video on Stethoscope Basics from Chris Lebadour below. Share your stethoscope use and maintenance tips in the comments area.

MedicCast Extra Study Aids

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.