4 Biggest Questions Job Seekers Have About Medical Scribe Work
Medical scribes are in high demand, and this trend will only continue. They provide a valuable service to physicians, taking care of the administrative burden so doctors can focus on patient care. There are approximately 20,000 scribes employed in the United States, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. By 2020, that number is expected to reach 100,000, making a compelling argument to consider medical scribing as a career.
Before beginning any new career path, consider the benefits and realities of becoming a scribe. Read the following FAQs before arriving at any decision.
How Much Will I Make as a Scribe?
The first natural question anyone has about any career is, “Will I make enough to pay my bills?” According to the compensation website Payscale, scribes make $8–$16 per hour, depending on the state and hospital or practice.
Some medical scribes are paid by the physicians they shadow. However, some scribes are part of a clinic or medical practice staff and are paid by the office.
What Are the Benefits of Working as a Scribe?
You’ll earn invaluable experience as a medical scribe. This career allows you an intimate view of the American healthcare system and provides the opportunity to interact one-on-one with a physician throughout the workday. Many pre-med students work as scribes.
As a medical scribe, you’ll learn:
- About quality patient care, including establishing trust
- How to navigate the electronic health record (EHR)
- About templates, smart phrases, and checklists
- Medical terminology
- Professional habits from doctors you shadow
- About teamwork
Scribe work can be your steppingstone to a new career in medicine.
As a medical scribe, you contribute to efficiency and patient satisfaction. Your duties free physicians from paperwork, allowing them more time to provide patients with quality care. More patients can be seen per hour, resulting in shorter wait times and financial benefits for the practice.
Is There Good Job Security?
The demand for medical scribes is expected to increase in the coming years. They are most often employed in the emergency room, where doctors strive to see and discharge or admit patients in an orderly fashion. Having a medical scribe helps cut down ER wait times, ultimately increasing patient satisfaction, according to a report from the American College of Emergency Physicians. Private practices and clinics are realizing the inherent value medical scribes provide and are staffing scribes to help ensure timely delivery of quality patient care.
Since many students are involved in scribe work, the turnover rate can be high. If you’re looking to pursue scribing as a long-term career, you may be high in demand by physicians who don’t like re-orienting to a new scribe every few years.
Are There Drawbacks?
If you work as a scribe in the ED, you will likely work 12-hour shifts that encompass days, nights, and weekends. The pay is minimal, and most time is spent typing on a computer.
If you have a hard time switching schedules and crave routine, working as an ED scribe might not be the best fit for you.