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What Is Medical Scribe? Everything You Need To Know About This Career

by | Published on Apr 18, 2023 | Medical Scribes

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Medical scribes are professionals who help doctors, nurses and other medical staff by taking notes and recording patient information. Scribes may also be responsible for other clerical duties in a medical setting. 

The position of medical scribe is relatively new, but has become increasingly popular in the past few years. 

If you’re interested in becoming a medical scribe, there are several things you need to know. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what a medical scribe is, what they do and how to become one. 

Stay tuned!

What is a Medical Scribe?

A medical scribe is a highly trained professional who works alongside doctors and other healthcare providers to document patient encounters. 

Scribes are responsible for recording the medical history, notes and details of physical examinations, test results, diagnoses, treatment plans, and other important information. 

In addition to documenting patient encounters, scribes may also be responsible for ordering tests and scheduling follow-up appointments. The role of a medical scribe is essential to the smooth functioning of a healthcare practice. 

Scribes provide an invaluable service by freeing up doctors and other providers to focus on patient care. 

As a result, the use of scribes can improve the efficiency and quality of care in any healthcare setting.

What Exactly Does a Medical Scribe Do?

A medical scribe is a trained medical professional who provides documentation assistance to physicians and other healthcare providers. Scribes work in real-time to document patient encounters, allowing providers to focus on delivering quality care. 

Scribes are responsible for ensuring that all pertinent information is accurately captured in the medical record. This includes documenting patient history, physical examination findings, diagnostic testing results, and treatment plans. You will transcribe documents, perform basic evaluations, and do basic data entry.

In addition, scribes often serve as a liaison between the provider and the rest of the healthcare team, relaying important information and keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest developments. 

By freeing up providers’ time and improving communication within the healthcare team, scribes play a vital role in providing high-quality patient care.

Where Do Medical Scribes Work?

Medical scribes are an important part of the healthcare team. They provide a real-time documentation of patient encounters, allowing physicians and other clinicians to focus on patient care. 

Scribes work in a variety of healthcare settings, including emergency departments, urgent care, clinics, and hospitals. In some cases, they may also travel to patients’ homes or long-term care facilities. They might work in emergency medicine, a physician assistant office, and many other settings.

Scribes typically work closely with a specific physician or group of physicians, shadowing them during patient visits. In addition to documenting patient encounters, scribes may also be responsible for ordering lab tests and medications, scheduling appointments, and verifying insurance benefits. 

With the increasing use of electronic health records, medical scribes play an essential role in ensuring that all aspects of patient care are accurately documented.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Medical Scribe?

Being a medical scribe requires excellent communication and interpersonal skills. 

You will need to be able to quickly and accurately document conversations between physicians and patients. In addition, you will need to have strong writing skills in order to maintain clear and concise medical records. 

You’ll maintain medical documentation and health information, ensuring patient satisfaction. This is a job that’s about so much more than just listening to dictation!

As a medical scribe, you will also need to be proficient in the use of medical terminology. Familiarity with electronic medical record systems is also a plus. 

While previous experience in the medical field is not required, it can be helpful in understanding the scribing process. You do not need to attend medical school but you will need a high school diploma and strong decision-making skills.

Above all, being a medical scribe requires a strong commitment to detail and accuracy.

How Long Does it Take to Get Trained as a Medical Scribe?

The medical scribing field is growing rapidly. Many hospitals and clinics are now using scribes to help document patient visits. As a result, there is a great demand for trained scribes. 

But how long does it take to get trained as a medical scribe? The answer depends on several factors, including the scribe training program you choose and your prior experience in the medical field. 

Most scribe training programs can be completed in 8-12 weeks. 

However, if you have no prior experience working in a hospital or clinic, you may need to complete an additional internship or externship before you are eligible for a position as a medical scribe. 

With the right training and experience, you can be ready to start work as a medical scribe in just a few months. 

Still on the hunt for the perfect training program? You can become a scribe with Scribekick. Not only will you have access to paid training and shadowing, but you’ll find multiple scribe specialty options to choose from. 

What Do You Learn in a Medical Scribe Training Program?

A medical scribe is a licensed medical professional who provides on-the-job training to medical students and residents. So what exactly do you learn in your training program?

Let’s take a look at one medical scribe training program to get a better idea.

The scribe program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Scribe training at UNMC lasts for two weeks and is divided into two parts: didactic training and clinical training. 

During the didactic portion, scribes learn about medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. They also receive instruction on how to document patient encounters in the electronic health record (EHR). 

The clinical portion of the program gives scribes the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice by shadowing physicians in a variety of clinical settings. 

By the end of the program, scribes are prepared to provide accurate and efficient documentation of patient encounters.

Of course, this is just one example of a medical scribe training program. It truly does differ between schools. However, this should give you a good idea of what to expect.

What Are Some Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Scribe?

Being a medical scribe can be a great way to get started in the medical field. Scribes provide an invaluable service by documenting patient encounters in real time, allowing doctors to focus on providing care. 

In addition, working as a scribe can give you a chance to learn about the inner workings of a medical practice and gain valuable experience that will be helpful if you decide to pursue a career in medicine. 

Medical scribes are an increasingly popular addition to many medical practices. They provide invaluable assistance to doctors by taking down accurate patient histories and documenting vital information during appointments. 

Scribes can also help to keep the doctor-patient interaction flowing smoothly by performing administrative tasks such as scheduling follow-up appointments. 

Because of this, you will likely find that your work as a medical scribe prepares you well for just about any other career you might choose to pursue later on. You’ll be able to work closely with patients and gain the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped someone. In most cases, you can work either full-time or part-time, depending on your needs. 

However, there are some drawbacks to consider before becoming a scribe. 

The job can be demanding, and you will likely work long hours on your feet. In addition, scribes are often expected to maintain strict confidentiality, which can be challenging.

The job of a medical scribe can be fast-paced and stressful, and it requires excellent transcription skills. 

In addition, scribes often work long hours, including nights and weekends. But for people who are looking for a challenging and rewarding career in the medical field, being a medical scribe can be a great option.

What is the Pay Like for a Medical Scribe? 

Medical scribes play an important role in healthcare, providing vital support to physicians and other medical staff. 

While the duties of a scribe can vary depending on the specific setting, they typically involve documenting patient visits, transferring information between electronic health records, and performing other clerical tasks. 

Scribes are often employed in busy outpatient clinics and emergency departments, where their assistance can help to improve workflow and increase efficiency. 

In terms of pay, medical scribes typically earn an hourly wage, with some earning bonuses or commissions based on their performance. While pay rates can vary depending on experience and geographic location, most scribes earn between $10 and $15 per hour. 

With the demand for scribes expected to continue to grow in the coming years, those considering a career in healthcare may find this field to be a good option.

What is the Job Market Like for Medical Scribes?

The job market for medical scribes is very competitive. Although the position is relatively new, there are already a large number of people vying for jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are an estimated 6,600 new jobs created in this field each year.

The best way to increase your chances of getting hired is to have experience working in a medical setting. This can be anything from working as a nurse’s aide to volunteering in a hospital. If you have experience with electronic medical records (EMR), that will also give you an advantage. 

In addition to experience, it is also important to have good written and communication skills. 

Medical scribes need to be able to take accurate notes and communicate effectively with both patients and doctors. If you are looking for a career in the medical field, becoming a medical scribe is a great option. 

With the right qualifications, you can land a well-paying job in a growing industry.

How is a Medical Scribe Different from a Nurse?

Medical scribes are an increasingly popular addition to the medical field, but there is still some confusion about what exactly they do and how they differ from nurses.

Both scribes and nurses provide important support to doctors, but their roles are quite different. Nurses are responsible for patient care, which includes tasks such as taking vital signs and conducting physical assessments. They also provide education and guidance to patients and their families. 

In contrast, medical scribes work alongside physicians to document patient encounters. This requires them to have a detailed understanding of medical terminology and coding. Scribes also play a key role in ensuring that patient records are accurate and complete. 

As the healthcare industry becomes increasingly reliant on electronic health records, the need for qualified medical scribes will only continue to grow.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring Medical Scribes?

In recent years, medical scribes have become an increasingly popular addition to the medical profession. Scribes are responsible for documenting patient visits, including taking notes and transcribing physician orders. The use of scribes can offer a number of benefits for both physicians and patients. 

First, scribes can help to free up a physician’s time by taking on many of the documentation tasks that would otherwise be performed by the physician. This can allow the physician to spend more time focusing on patient care. 

Additionally, scribes can help to improve the accuracy of medical records. 

In some cases, scribes may also be able to provide real-time assistance to physicians during patient encounters, such as by quickly retrieving information from the electronic health record or providing reminders about upcoming appointments. 

Ultimately, the use of scribes can help to improve the efficiency and quality of care in a variety of settings.

Final Thoughts

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, a medical scribe might be the perfect opportunity for you. With the right training and certification, you can help physicians focus on their patients by taking care of all the paperwork. 

And with job opportunities projected to grow over the next decade, now is an excellent time to consider becoming a medical scribe

Last Updated on May 31, 2023


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