Mandy Kloppers

Is Being a Medical Scribe a Good Place to Start a Healthcare Career?

medical scribe

Across the USA there is a high demand for professional medical scribes, with good reason. They’re highly qualified to deal with patient data, note-taking, and record-keeping. Now the EHR system is in place and being widely used private clinics and hospitals have more use than ever for these roles. Interested in pursuing a career in medical scribing and wonder whether it could lead to other opportunities in health care? Here’s all you need to know.


Becoming a medical scribe


Let’s start at the beginning – here are just a few of the questions you might have if you’re thinking about starting a career as a medical scribe and moving into the healthcare industry as a whole.


What is a Medical Scribe?


This is a role that involves documenting all the interactions between physicians and patients, from the outset of treatment right through to discharge. One of the main responsibilities is transcribing all the written information of a patient and putting it into a medical database so that doctors can focus on giving the right treatments. A scribe will also work for the physician and link up with other departments – for instance, if the patient needs other services like medications, x-rays, scans, or blood tests. They may also deal with medical billing and accounting, too.


Will medical scribing help in medical student training?


It’s not a definite requirement to study as a medical scribe as a med student or gain a foothold into another different healthcare industry job, it certainly wouldn’t do any harm as it can be used to gain vital experience. If you have an interest in becoming a medical scribe as a way to start a healthcare career here’s how.


The absolute minimum requirement you would need to study to be a medical scribe is a high school diploma, but it’s highly recommended that you take a pre-med/medical-related course, as part of an undergraduate or graduate university degree. There are a few basic skills anyone wanting to become a medical scribe needs to have:


Be an awesome multi-tasker: Medical scribes must be able to listen well and write down all the information they hear. Being able to multitask is essential.


Exceptional IT skills:  Any information gathered in the form of written notes has to be entered into a database, so great IT skills are a must-have. Most scribes will need to know how to work on in-house computer systems and also be proficient in MS Office applications.


Fast and accurate typist: Coupled with super IT skills is the ability to type fast and accurately. Most scribes have a typing speed of 45-60 WPM in order to encode any information given by a client.


Up-to-date EMR skills: It’s a good idea to have a great working knowledge of EMR systems and any electronic health recording equipment, as this is what physicians will use to keep a patient’s records.


The unique role of a medical scribe


This really is a unique job and one that presents a lot of different pathways. Medical scribes will sit and take notes of every interaction with a patient and physician. However, unlike the physician, a medical scribe doesn’t necessarily have any physical contact with the patient. The scribe will work behind the scenes – or sometimes sit in on an appointment to take notes.


What might a career plan for a medical scribe look like?


There are certainly a lot of different ways the career of a medical scribe can travel. There’s a lot of room to grow within that particular field, for instance, such as becoming a medical transcriptionist. Starting off in this field can begin as part-time work, with a few shifts a week. If you’re a medical student wanting to progress to become a physician then this is the best course of action – whereas if you solely want to focus on scribe work, you could consider a full-time path.


It can be a fantastic training ground for getting into a full-time medical career – anything from becoming a nurse, a physician, or even a surgeon. Equally, it can be a job that has its own progression – and a career path that takes you on to becoming a trainer, a head of the department, or lead onto other administrative roles in hospitals, or clinics – and even HR roles dealing with the health and wellbeing of employees.


For all your medical scribe needs, simply get in touch with Scribe today. We can help you achieve your chosen career path and put you on the road to success. Get in touch to make your dream job come true.

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