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Becoming a Medical Scribe

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You may be wondering what a medical scribe is. They fulfill the secretarial and non-clinical functions of a physician and other healthcare providers. They input the medical data into the medical records of the patient, so freeing up the time of the healthcare professional they are working with. Some people make a career of this job, going on to become leaders and teachers of it, while for others becoming a medical scribe is a good way of learning medical terminology while studying for medical training.

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Are Any Qualifications Needed?

Anyone considering becoming an ER scribe must have excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English. They should be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program that has an emphasis in pre-medical or science coursework. They will be working in a fast-paced environment, so need good computer skills with the ability to type at 60wpm, or faster.  There is a minimum age requirement of 18 years. Although not essential, leadership experience and one year full-time undergraduate studies completed is preferred.

Are There Any Benefits To Becoming A Medical Scribe?

There are several benefits to becoming a medical scribe. You will receive professional mentoring and be paid for all your training hours. While employed, you will have the chance to take part in workshops for professional applications and interviews, which can only help to progress your career, whichever path you are taking. If you discover you really like the job and are good at it, there are opportunities to be promoted to work in leadership, training or management.

If you are a pre-med student, the experience and knowledge you will learn far outweighs the other benefits of being a medical scribe.

What Are the Duties of a Medical Scribe?

A scribe does not directly assist with patient care but has to accurately chart patient meetings, patient history, physical exams, lab and test results, consultation with other healthcare providers, diagnosis, discharge instructions and any treatment prescribed. They are expected to behave in a professional manner, with non-intrusive interaction with the healthcare worker they are assisting, hospital or clinic staff, other co-workers and patients. They have to comply with all safety and health policies and keep all patient information confidential. They are expected to work at least two shifts per week.

What Are the Working Conditions?

Scribes should expect to be working in the fast paced environment of hospitals, clinics and emergency departments. They will be on their feet a lot of the time, although there can also be prolonged periods of being seated. They will have a portable computer on wheels, which they will have to be able to move around with ease. They have to be prepared for repetitive typing and key entry work, often under fluorescent lighting.

Medical scribes are an important part of the healthcare system. The work they do allows physicians and other healthcare workers to spend more time with each patient, without the worry of being overloaded with paperwork. As more responsibility has been put on the healthcare profession to record everything that is said and done, so the medical scribe job has evolved into the position it is today.

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