I have bilat. hearing loss, as well. I have been working in critical care environments for 13 years. The last 5 have been spent in the ED. Nowadays, I generally do not use a stethescope at all. There are several reasons for this. First, listening to sounds (breath or bowel) is just one tool or sign of an overall condition. It is similar to watching a nurse fuss with pulse ox cables to get the perfect waveform. You can usually see that somebody is SOB and needing treatment before you actually listen to their lungs. Basically, what I'm saying is that you have to rely on other things like your eyesite and listening to patient history. Some nurses would argue that this is unacceptable. However, I can't claim disability and become one of those ED pt's that abuse the system. Besides, when was the last time you placed an NGT and asked a pt. to speak. Can't speak if the tube is in your trachea. One would surely be gagging and SOB otherwise. Pulse ox would drop. Etc. Another reason for lack of stethescope use is the cost to replace hearing aids. Each time I would use a stethescope, I would remove my hearing aids. Where would one set them down. In a pool of vomit, or blood, or urine. What if they were steped on? Do you think the hospital is gonna fork over $4800? The safest place for my hearing aids are in my ears. Finally, I don't use a stethescope due to cost to obtain one that is compatable with my hearing aids. Besides, I don't like carrying all that crap with me. The only things I carry are trauma shears, tape, and pen. So, that is how I survive non-stethescope practice. Next time you are involve with an intubation or code, just glance around and notice all of the stethescopes in the area. Then, ask someone to listen to breathe sounds. Watch how many people step up, willing to listen. Usually, I get a minimum of three. Back to your question. The only thing preventing you from working in the ED is yourself.