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How To Become Medical Scribe: The Ultimate Guide

by | Published on Apr 16, 2023 | Medical Scribes

Reading Time: 8 minutes

If you’re looking for a career in the medical field, becoming a medical scribe may be the perfect option for you. Medical scribes are responsible for assisting doctors and nurses with important tasks in the hospital setting. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this career, keep reading! In this article, we’ll discuss what medical scribes do, how to become one, and what the job outlook is like. 

Let’s get started!

What is a Medical Scribe?

A medical scribe is a person who works alongside a physician, documenting the patient interaction. This documentation can take many forms, from dictated notes to structured entries in an electronic health record. 

In some cases, the scribe may also be responsible for scheduling follow-up appointments or ordering lab tests. The role of the medical scribe is to free up the physician’s time so that they can focus on providing care to the patient. 

Scribes are often trained in medical terminology and basic physiology, and they must be able to maintain a high level of accuracy and attention to detail. 

While the position of medical scribe is relatively new, it has quickly become an essential part of many healthcare organizations.

Skills Needed to Become a Medical Scribe

Being a medical scribe is a demanding but rewarding job that requires a range of skills.

First and foremost, scribes must be able to multitask effectively, as they will often be responsible for taking notes, entering data into electronic medical records (EMR) software, and completing other clerical tasks simultaneously. 

Therefore, excellent computer skills and typing speeds are essential. In addition, scribes need to be able to use EMR software competently and efficiently. They also need to have physical and emotional endurance, as they will spend long hours on their feet and may be exposed to stressful or emotionally charged situations.

 Microsoft Office skills are also useful, as many scribes will be responsible for creating reports and presentations. 

Scribes need to have great attention to detail and time management skills in order to ensure that all patient information is accurately captured and recorded. Excellent communication skills are also important, as scribes need to be able to clearly relay information between doctors and patients. 

Finally, having a good bedside manner is essential for putting patients at ease and ensuring that they have a positive experience. 

How to Become a Medical Scribe: Step by Step

If you’re interested in a career in the medical field, but don’t want to spend years in school, becoming a medical scribe may be the perfect option for you. Medical scribes assist doctors and other healthcare professionals by performing tasks such as maintaining patient records, documenting procedures, and handling administrative work. 

Read on to learn more about how to become a medical scribe and what to expect from the job.

1. Graduate from High School

While some scribes may have a college degree, most employers require that candidates have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, medical scribes must complete a formal training program before beginning work. 

As a result, individuals interested in becoming medical scribes must first graduate from high school or obtain a GED before beginning training. 

2. Consider an Advanced Degree or Training Program 

If you are interested in a career as a medical scribe, there are many resources available to help you get started.

 Community colleges offer medical scribe programs that provide comprehensive training. Books and training manuals can also be found online. In addition, there are many medical terminology courses available, as well as flashcard and quiz resources.

There are also several online certification and course options available, such as those through the American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group certification and the Medical Scribe Certification Exam. 

When you’re looking for a training program, you may want to consider becoming a scribe with Scribekick. There are lots of benefits of doing so, including access to comprehensive training and shadowing programs and even a job bank of opportunities to choose from. 

By taking advantage of these resources, you can gain the knowledge and skills you need to become a successful medical scribe.

3. Get Hands-On Work Experience 

While there are no formal education requirements for this position, many scribes have completed a part-time or full-time training program offered by a hospital or scribe company.

A medical scribe is a trained individual who assists physicians with documentation in the electronic health record. The demand for medical scribes has increased in recent years as physicians strive to improve efficiency and workflow in the clinic setting. 

One way to set yourself apart from other candidates when applying to medical scribe positions is to have relevant work experience. 

While some training programs offer externships or shadowing opportunities, you can also gain valuable experience by working as a certified medical assistant or EHR training specialist. Working in these roles will give you first-hand experience with interacting with patients, documenting in the EHR, and understanding the physician workflow. 

Furthermore, having this work experience will show that you are committed to the medical field and have the necessary skills to be successful as a medical scribe. Taking the time to get hands-on experience before applying for medical scribe positions will give you a competitive edge and improve your chances of getting hired.

Do I Need Clinical Experience to Become a Medical Scribe?

Deciding whether or not to pursue clinical experience prior to becoming a medical scribe is a personal decision that depends on your long-term goals and interests. 

If you’re interested in eventually attending medical school (as a pre-med student) or becoming a physician assistant, then working as a medical scribe will give you exposure to the day-to-day operations of a medical practice and allow you to develop your clinical skills. 

However, if you’re certain that you don’t want to pursue a career in medicine, then clinical experience may not be necessary. In either case, it’s important to research the requirements of the specific scribe program you’re interested in, as some programs may require clinical experience. 

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to pursue clinical experience is one that only you can make.

What is the Typical Career Path for a Medical Scribe? 

As the use of medical scribes continues to grow, many people are wondering what the typical career path for a medical scribe looks like. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some general trends that can be observed.

For many scribes, the journey begins with an interest in medicine and a desire to help others. After completing high school or college, they may decide to pursue a career as a medical scribe. They will likely start out working in a hospital or clinic, providing support to doctors and other medical professionals. 

As they gain experience, they may move into a leadership role, such as managing a team of scribes or training new scribes. In some cases, scribes may also choose to pursue further education and become certified medical assistants or even doctors themselves.

No matter what direction their career takes, medical scribes play an important role in the healthcare system. They provide crucial support to doctors, healthcare providers, and other medical professionals, helping them to provide better medical care for their patients. 

As the use of scribes continues to grow, so does the demand for skilled and qualified scribes. Those who are interested in pursuing a career as a medical scribe should have no trouble

How Much Money Can a Medical Scribe Make?

To recap, a medical scribe is a person who shadowed a physician or another medical professional and makes an audio record of the encounter which the medical professional can then refer to later. The position has seen significant growth in recent years due to the implementation of electronic health records. 

Because of this document, physicians are now required to input large amounts of patient data during an appointment which takes away from time spent with the actual patient. This is where a medical scribe comes in to help alleviate some of that pressure by helping to document the encounter.

In terms of average salary, medical scribes can make a pretty penny, especially compared to other dictation and data-entry type jobs. The average hourly wage for a medical scribe is $15.87 which comes out to about $33,000 annually. However, experienced scribes can make upwards of $60,000 per year. 

Not too shabby for a job where you essentially get paid to listen in on conversations and take notes!

Overall, being a medical scribe is a great way to get your foot in the door of the healthcare industry and start climbing your way up the ladder. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the one sitting in the doctor’s chair giving instructions

Challenges You Might Encounter While Becoming a Medical Scribe

Working as a medical scribe can be both rewarding and challenging. While you’ll be able to help physicians provide better patient care by documenting their encounters, you may also find yourself feeling stressed at times. 

One challenge you might encounter is trying to keep up with the fast pace of the work. Medical scribes need to be able to type quickly and accurately while also paying attention to the details of the patient visit. 

Another challenge could be dealing with difficult personalities, such as those of some physicians or patients. It’s important to remember that everyone is under a lot of pressure in a medical setting and try to remain calm and helpful.

If you’re interested in becoming a medical scribe, it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges you might face so that you can be prepared to deal with them effectively.

How to Find a Scribe Job

Finding a medical scribe job can be a bit tricky since the market is still relatively new. Often, the best way to find a position is to look online on websites like Craigslist or Indeed. 

You can also check with your local hospitals or clinics to see if they have any openings. Another option is to contact a medical scribing company. These companies provide scribes to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They usually have a list of open positions on their website. 

The best way to find a medical scribe job is to start by looking online and then contacting a scribing company. 

With a little effort, you should be able to find the perfect position for you.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a career in the medical field, becoming a medical scribe may be the perfect option for you. With the right training and certification, you can become an important part of the healthcare team. 

And if you’re not sure if this is the right career path for you, consider these tips to help make your decision.


Where does a medical scribe work?

A medical scribe is a trained professional who works closely with physicians in a medical setting. Scribes provide real-time documentation of patient encounters, freeing up physicians to focus on the patient. In addition to providing documentation services, scribes may also be responsible for ordering tests and scheduling follow-up appointments. Most scribes work in hospitals (including in the emergency department or emergency room) or outpatient clinics, though some may also work in walk-in clinics or urgent care centers. 

How can a medical scribe advance his or her career?

With the growing reliance on electronic health records, medical scribes are in high demand. Those who are interested in advancing their career can do so by becoming certified as a Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS). The CMSS credential is earned by passing an exam and demonstrates a commitment to excellence in the field. In addition, medical scribes can pursue additional training in areas such as coding and billing, which can help them to qualify for higher-level positions.

What hours does a medical scribe work?

Scribes typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends. However, the job can be very rewarding, as it offers the opportunity to help others and learn about the practice of medicine.

What are the training requirements to become a medical scribe? 

The position requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, as well as a strong understanding of medical terminology. Scribes must also be able to type quickly and accurately. 

Many scribes have previous experience working in a healthcare setting, which can be helpful in understanding the demands of the job. However, many scribing companies offer training programs that can teach the necessary skills to those without prior experience. 

The length of training varies depending on the program, but most scribes are able to begin work within a few weeks. Once they are on the job, scribes receive ongoing training from their employer to ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest medical practices and procedures.

Is being a medical scribe worth it?

Being a medical scribe is a demanding job, but it can also be very rewarding. While the hours can be long and the work can be challenging, scribes typically receive competitive pay and benefits. In addition, they often have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the inner workings of a medical practice. For many people, being a medical scribe is a great way to get started in a career in medicine.


Glassdoor: How much does a medical scribe make?

Hamilton College: Seeing the Health Care Profession Through the Eyes of a Medical Scribe

Medical Scribes Training Institute: Home

AAMC: What It’s Like to Be a Medical Scribe

Last Updated on May 31, 2023


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