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While stethoscope tags are an optional add-on to your stethoscope, they are a great way to inject a little personality into the instrument. The tags also make it easier to identify your stethoscope quickly and prevent mix-ups when several of them are laying together in the same location. Choosing the best one is a matter of personal preference, as there is no specific ideal tag.
Stethoscope tags come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. Look for one that is large enough that it can easily be seen, but not so large that it gets tangled in your clothing, hair, or instrument itself. Remember that no stethoscope accessory should interfere with your ability to properly use the instrument or distract your from your patients’ needs. It may be a good idea to avoid beaded tags, as they can come undone and pose a choking hazard.
Aside from ensuring that you choose a safe tag, it is also important that you choose one that will not offend your patients. Stick with neutral stethoscope tags and avoid anything overly religious or political symbols or messages, as not all of your patients will have the same belief systems. While the tags may seem like a very small part of your overall look, keep in mind that it will be right in front of your patients’ eyes when you are leaning forward to listen to their heart.
If you just want a tag with your name on it so that you do not confuse your stethoscope with another staff member's instrument, opt for a simple design in the same color as the tubing around the top of your instrument. Many of these types of stethoscope tags have a nearly seamless design, so they won’t stick out or get entangled in anything. You can either opt for an inexpensive design that allows you to write your name on the tag in permanent marker, or spend a little more and have your tag professionally engraved.
Another option is to choose stethoscope tags related to your practice. For example, if you are working in pediatrics, choose a fun animal tag or one depicting a popular cartoon character. This many help comfort frightened young children and make it easier for them to relate to you. If you work as an orthopedic doctor, you may opt for something related to the bones. Stethoscope tags are relatively inexpensive, so you may want to purchase several and switch them every so often, especially if you see the same patients repeatedly, as they can be a great conversation piece to help put your patients at ease before examinations.