Tip of the day: securing your BTEs

If your low-frequency hearing is OK, you’ll be able to hear fine with a standard stethoscope. The problem comes if you have hearing aids: it’s not always convenient to take them right out every time you need the stethoscope. But if you have behind-the-ear aids with conventional earmoulds, you can flip the moulds out quickly, leaving the aids hooked over your ears.

Admitedly, they do sometimes make a bid for freedom, especially if you have spectacles competing for over-ear space. So at the start of your working day, try toupee tape or little stickies to stick the aids to your head or ear. To be honest, I didn’t bother with tape after a while. Most of the time my aids stayed put and they didn’t come to any harm in their brief travels.

I flipped my aids out like this and used my trusty Littman Classic for years. It’s so quick it didn’t hold me up, especially as I didn’t bother turning the aids off. Of course they whistled from time to time but with my high-frequency loss, I couldn’t hear it anyway. So it didn’t interfere with auscultation. And just gave the patient and me a giggle when we realised.

This option may not be suitable if you have open-fit hearing aids. The domes are so small and deep in your ears that you may become sore if you keep flipping them in and out. But with open-fit, you might find you can use normal stethoscope earpieces anyway, especially if the spring in the headset isn’t so strong that the earpieces hurt or crimp your tubing. The Thinklabs One and Littmann Electronic stethoscopes have adjustable arms so they may be worth a try.

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