How to Earn Certification as a Medical Scribe
Medical scribes specialize in documenting and organizing information associated with a patient encounter. They may retrieve prior records, obtain lab results, navigate the electronic health record, and translate physician dictations into charts that meet regulatory standards. This presents a rewarding opportunity for anyone interested in the field of medicine, by providing a behind-the-scenes look at the American healthcare system. Scribes earn valuable knowledge and skills that help them pursue an exciting career in medicine, either in a clinical or non-clinical capacity.
If you’re interested in medical scribing, learn how medical scribes get certified and land their first jobs.
Am I A Good Fit For the Profession?
There are several reasons to become a medical scribe. If you are considering a career as a physician or nurse, scribing provides the opportunity to shadow a doctor, familiarize yourself with medical terminology, and learn more about the profession. If you are just starting out in a career, looking for something new, or just looking to use your current healthcare expertise in a new way, scribing may be the answer.
But the career is not for everyone. A medical scribe should possess the following qualities:
- Attention to detail
- Good communication skills
- Ability to read, write, speak, and comprehend English
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
- Enjoys working with patients and medical professionals
- Ability to learn large amounts of information in a short period
There are also physical requirements for working as a medical scribe. You must be able to:
- Take legible notes by hand
- Stand and walk for extended periods of time
- Type on a computer or other device for extended periods of time
How Do I Become a Medical Scribe?
Medical scribe certification can be obtained through online coursework. The medical scribe course at Healthcare Scribes is a self-paced program, but students have a maximum of six months to complete the course.
To receive a certificate of training, students must complete the program within the six-month time frame and achieve at least a 70% competency on the online final exam. Students are allowed one attempt to pass the exam, but there is no time limit or proctor required. Upon successful course completion, registrants receive a certification that allows them to pursue scribe work in the practice area of their choosing.
While the course is self-directed, proctors are available to answer questions and help students navigate the material. Taking a medical scribe course requires determination and focus, but the end result is well worth the effort.
Will I Be Able to Find Employment As a Scribe?
A common question prospective students have is their likelihood of finding employment upon course completion. The constant evolution of federal, electronic health record (EHR), and insurance regulations increases paperwork, impacting physician productivity. Doctors are taken away from bedsides and are forced to sacrifice patient care. Medical scribes, however, enable physicians to spend more time on quality patient care and less time on paperwork.
Demand for medical scribes is expected to increase in the coming years, as the healthcare system recognizes their intrinsic value in enhancing patient care. There are approximately 20,000 scribes employed today, but by 2020, that number is expected to increase to 100,000. Will you be one of them?