If you’ve never heard of medical scribes, you’ve certainly seen them at some point when you’ve visited a doctor’s office. They’re typically the personnel that follows physicians into exam rooms while they provide direct care to document all the necessary information about the patient. Traditionally, the physician’s job has focused solely on direct patient contact and care.
The growing overload of documentation and clerical responsibilities often slows physicians and takes their time away from actual patient care. This can cause stress and lead to burnout, a common and dangerous symptom for many medical professionals. To relieve themselves from the overwhelming load of documentation, more physicians are turning to medical scribe services.
What is a medical scribe?
A medical scribe is a professional collaborating with a physician inside a healthcare clinic who fulfills secretarial and administrative duties as well as non-clinical functions for a busy physician or mid-level provider. They often specialize in medical data entry in a paper or electronic medical record system and generally increase the medical provider’s capacity to provide direct patient care – such as seeing the next patient, performing medical procedures, and communicating with nursing staff.
What are the benefits of being a medical scribe?
Although medical scribes don’t perform any direct patient care like physicians do, becoming a medical scribe is a great stepping stone to a career in the healthcare industry, especially for those pursuing a career as a physician. Professionals often turn to positions as a medical scribe to prepare for a career in the healthcare industry and to get ahead of the curve by learning how to think like a professional healthcare provider. The positions offered as medical scribes are paid and those wanting to take a year or two before entering medical school often leap for these opportunities to shadow physicians and gain a deeper understanding of medical terminology and process.
How do you become a medical scribe?
Because medical scribes aren’t required to attend medical school, becoming a medical scribe may seem ominous to those without the resources or knowledge about how to enter this career. Several organizations, like ScribeAmerica, offer the opportunity to become a medical scribe. Once you apply and are hired for a medical scribe position, you’re expected to complete classroom training on medical documentation, medical terminology, HIPAA requirements and more. After classroom training, scribes must pass several assessments and complete clinical training.
Medical scribes are growing more common to clinics, as more healthcare providers realize how much value they can bring. Becoming a scribe isn’t easy, but the benefits are long-lasting for those willing to pursue a lifelong career in the medical industry. For information on scribes and career opportunities for scribes, contact us today.