How to Wear a Stethoscope Correctly: Björn Hall Stethoscope

How to Wear a Stethoscope CorrectlyHello everyone, Nurse Jenny here! 

Today, I am going to teach you how to properly use a stethoscope.

When I first started nursing school, I can remember being handed a stethoscope and then going straight to taking blood pressures. No one actually told me how to how to put on a stethoscope correctly. If somebody did, I sure don't remember it! 

I went on using my stethoscope like that for almost two years. I didn’t even realize something was wrong. So, when someone actually told me how to do it properly, not only was it an aha moment, but I learned that I could hear so much better the correct way!

Steps on how to wear a stethoscope correctly:

  1. Position the stethoscope in front of you with the large part of the diaphragm facing you. This is the default position of your stethoscope if you will be using it frequently for adult patients.

  2. Make sure that the binaurals are pointing away from you and not towards you. This is because our ear canals are facing towards our face, not sideways and not backward.

  3. Put on the stethoscope and readjust the binaurals until the ear tips are sealed properly in your ear canal so that you cannot hear outside noise anymore and all you can hear is what you're listening to through the stethoscope. You can try different sizes of ear tips to achieve this seal because our ear canals are different from each other. 

  4. Adjust the tension of the stethoscope by pushing the binaurals together or pulling them away from each other.

  5. You shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort in your ear.




The beautiful stethoscope I am using on my Youtube video is from Bjorn Stethoscopes. Check out this article as well that comes with images about properly using your stethoscope.

That’s the short and simple way to properly use your stethoscope. So, if you ever see a junior nurse wearing it the wrong way, please correct them in a nice way because the nurse who corrected me probably thought I was an idiot for using it wrong that whole time. 

And if you also have a junior nurse coming to you saying they can't hear this patient's blood pressure, ask them what stethoscope they are using because if they are using the cheap ones, it is really difficult to hear from those. And then, ask them how they're putting on the stethoscope into their ears because they might be putting it the wrong way. It will save you a trip to that patient to double-check and the junior nurse will have learned a lesson.

Putting on a stethoscope into your ears may seem pretty basic and pretty obvious, but I think, from personal experience, I’d say that people get it wrong all the time. And now that you have learned how to properly put it on, why don’t you learn next how to properly care of and clean your stethoscope here.

Check out other Nurse Jenny How-To's!

How to Clean Your Stethoscope in Detail: Littmann Stethoscope

How to Remove Kinks From Your Stethoscope Tubing


Share your nursing student bloopers on the comments below or join the conversations we have in my Nurse Jenny Facebook Group. We talk about everything nursing.
I’d love to hear from you!


I'll see you in the next one and remember, listen with your heart. 


Nurse Jenny

Jenny, RN is a Registered Nurse working in Sydney Australia. She received her degree in 2013 in Sydney as an international student from Sweden and graduated with a Distinction. She has a passion for Nursing and helping other Nurses and student Nurses in the field, looking at life from the positive side and always giving back where possible. She is the Founder of Bjorn Hall Stethoscopes, a company she created when she saw a need for more personality in the workplace.


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