As a medical scribe, your job is to accompany physicians and other healthcare professionals into patient exam rooms and document the details of the visit in real time. It may sound straightforward, but it requires focus, efficiency, and empathy.
With the right amount of diligence and persistence, you’ll be assisting physicians and entering the world of healthcare in no time.
What Does a Medical Scribe Do?
The physician will see the patient and ask questions about their medical history, symptoms, and concerns. You’ll type up the patient’s responses and any observations the doctor makes into the electronic health record system. You have to get everything down accurately while keeping up with the pace of the conversation.
The Benefits of Medical Scribing
The following are some benefits of medical scribing
There are several perks to being a medical scribe. You’ll gain valuable experience in healthcare and insight into the daily responsibilities of doctors and nurses. Scribing also provides networking opportunities and the possibility of career advancement into other healthcare roles like medical assisting.
Another benefit is flexible scheduling. As a scribe, you can often find part-time work with shifts that fit around school or another job. The pay typically starts around $10 to $15 per hour.
What Makes a Good Medical Scribe?
To be an effective scribe, you’ll need certain qualities and skills:
- Strong listening and communication abilities.You have to understand what the patient and physician are saying and ask for clarification when needed.
- Proficiency with medical terminology.You’ll need to know the proper terms for symptoms, diagnoses, tests, and treatments.
- Basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology.Understanding how the human body works will help you follow along during the patient encounter.
- Fast and accurate typing.You have to type quickly while paying close attention to the details. Strong keyboarding skills are essential.
- Reliability and discretion.As a scribe, you’ll have access to private patient information. You must maintain strict confidentiality and professionalism.
In summary, a medical scribe performs an invaluable role in supporting physicians and assisting with patient care. If you have an interest in healthcare, becoming a scribe can be a great way to gain experience, learn new skills, and open up more career opportunities.
Skills and Qualifications for Medical Scribe Jobs
To land a job as a medical scribe, you’ll need certain skills and qualifications. First, excellent writing and communication abilities are a must. You’ll be documenting patient encounters in detail, so strong grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills are essential.
You should also be proficient in medical terminology. While you’ll learn on the job, having a basic understanding of anatomy, diseases, surgical procedures, and medications will help you pick up the lingo quickly. Some medical scribe positions may require certification, like the Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS) credential.
Proficiency with electronic health records (EHR) systems and medical office software is usually needed. Experience with programs like Epic, Cerner, Meditech, and eClinicalWorks is a plus. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with a particular EHR though, as you can learn each hospital or physician group’s preferred system.
Aptitude for organizing and managing tasks efficiently is key. The job involves juggling administrative duties, keeping accurate records, and ensuring doctors have the necessary information. Strong time-management and ability to work under pressure will serve you well.
While not always required, pursuing additional medical education or training can strengthen your application. Some scribes first become certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or emergency medical technicians (EMTs). If in school, courses in health sciences, biology, and medical terminology are helpful.
The most important qualifications, though, are a passion for medicine, ability to work as part of a healthcare team, and desire to help improve patient care. With the right skills and enthusiasm for the role, you’ll be an excellent candidate for a medical scribe position.
How to Find Medical Scribe Job Openings
Finding openings for medical scribe positions requires actively searching and networking. Many healthcare organizations hire scribes on an ongoing basis to keep up with demand, so new jobs are frequently posted. Here are some of the best ways to discover medical scribe job openings:
Check the websites of local hospitals, clinics, and private practices regularly. Most will have a careers section where they post jobs. Set up alerts on the sites to receive notifications when new scribe positions become available. Physician staffing companies that provide scribes to healthcare organizations also hire frequently. Search sites like Indeed, Monster and Glassdoor for “medical scribe” in your area.
Build connections with people currently employed as medical scribes. Reach out and express your interest in the field, and ask if they know of any job openings. Some positions are filled through employee referrals before ever being advertised. Your contacts may be able to recommend you as a candidate for a role at their organization or another facility where they have connections.
Network at industry events like conferences for medical assistants, health information technicians, and physicians. Introduce yourself to doctors, practice managers and HR representatives and discuss your goal of finding a position as a medical scribe. Provide your resume and contact details, as job openings are often filled through personal interactions and the exchange of information.
Apply to temp agencies and staffing companies that place medical scribes. They frequently have openings with various healthcare organizations they service. While positions through staffing companies are often temporary, they provide valuable experience and can sometimes lead to permanent roles. The agencies are also useful for finding work between jobs or for gaining experience as a new scribe.
Monitor the websites of professional associations for medical scribes like the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS). They provide job boards with scribe openings, as well as networking opportunities at local and national events. Membership in an association also helps you stay up-to-date with trends in the field and advancements in education and certification.
Persistence and continuous active searching are key. New medical scribe jobs become available daily, so keep applying and networking and you’ll find the right opening to get started in this growing career field. With experience, more opportunities will become available to you.
So there you have it, the key steps to land a medical scribe job. While the process can be competitive, with the right preparation and persistence you can secure a role. Do your research, build your experience, craft a stellar resume, and practice your interview skills. Networking and making personal connections in the healthcare field will also increase your chances.