I hope all is well. Life has been moving so quickly, and it’s just crazy to think that it’s already May. I’ve been working as a Medical Scribe for the past two months now at a Pediatric office, and I wanted to share my experience with those who are considering to become a scribe, etc. But first off, what even is a scribe? A scribe relieves practitioners of secretarial duties by allowing them to focus directly on clinical care. Scribes are limited to documentation duties for the practitioner. Therefore, it is a great way to understand the clinical care process and documentation.
I knew that I wanted to be a scribe because it would provide me the opportunity to gain healthcare experience and learn medical terminology. Also, getting paid at the same time! (Gotta pay for those medical school applications somehow ;)). I wanted to share my initial impressions of the position to those who are looking for further healthcare opportunities. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Emergency Room vs. Office Scribing:
I initially knew that scribing for an office would better suit my schedule right off the bat because I had the time to fit the hours within an 8am-5pm routine. Also, I do not think that my body can handle the crazy 12 hours late-night shifts mixed in with school and other responsibilities at the moment. So selecting a company that is office-based was a no-brainer. Of course, everyone is different and has preferences on when they like to work, and for how long, so this depends on you as well!
Here’s the differences between E.R. and Office workflow:
- Most E.R. companies hire scribes for a 8-12 hr workload.
- You’ll be able to see new and crazy cases everyday.
- You’ll be able to work with more than one practitioner.
- Hours are more flexible for an E.R. position since the E.R. is open 24/7.
- Most clinic companies hire scribes for a 8 hr workload at most.
- Most clinic companies prefer scribes who are capable of working long-term since it gives practitioners an easier time with adjustment to new scribes.
- You’ll be able to work with one practitioner at a time and develop a strong relationship.
When I first heard about scribing, I remember thinking of a person who can type super fast and is glued to the computer. Which is entirely accurate in my opinion. I was nervous for my first shift because I’m not that great of a typer my max WPM (Word Per Minute) was 55-65 so I was scared to see if I can even keep up. However, I had a lot of training shifts before my solo shift, so I was confident in my abilities. Therefore, I recommend for you to select a company that has excellent reviews in their training. If it weren’t for the training shifts (shadowing a current scribe), I do not think I would’ve been as comfortable during my first shift alone.
I also wanted to concise a list of things I’ve learned/observed from scribing:
- You’ll learn a TON of new terminology and diagnoses everyday.
- Google is your friend when you’re unsure of a challenging word.
- Being prepared for each patient note is key (understanding the reason for visit).
- Listening well has never been so important until scribing.
- Water always helps with focus and concentration (especially when you have an early morning shift).
- Be sure to give your eyeballs a break. Eye strain is real. I’m still trying to figure out how to recover my eyes after each shift.
- Physicians are always willing to answer questions.
- Know your basic medical terminology acronyms.
- Recognizing patterns within note-taking systems come quickly. So do not worry if you feel overwhelmed.
- Always be sure to double check your notes to ensure of accuracy!
All in all, I recommend scribing for anyone who’s trying to get their foot in the door in the medical field. I believe it’s a great job to see a lot of new things and the diagnosis process. It’s cool to be “behind the scenes” for once and to take part in a patients visit. If you have ever scribed before or considering the position, comment below! I’m interested to hear your experiences. 🙂 I’ve also added scribe companies within the Phoenix area and additional scribe information down below!
Talk to you soon,
Scribe Companies in PHX, AZ: