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How to Become a Medical Scribe in 2022: Schools, Requirements

Every physician needs someone to document information regarding a patient’s medical status. This function is necessary especially when the physician is still examining the patient.

In order to perform excellently at this task, the individual must have good knowledge of medical terms in addition to great writing skills. The professionals who occupy this role are medical scribes and we can show you how to become a medical scribe if you are interested in this role.

According to OHSU, the use of medical scribes accelerated roughly 10 years ago, which is largely a direct result of EHR use, as required by healthcare legislation. Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the meaningful use of health information technology (HIT) was required to satisfy or avoid certain incentives or penalties.

An estimate reveals 20,000 scribes were working in hospitals and medical practices around the country in 2016, with projections of 100,000 scribes by 2022. As a result, medical scribing is the fastest growing healthcare profession in the nation.

So, throughout the course of this article, we will show you how to become a medical scribe. Additionally, we will itemize key requirements everyone who wants to become a scribe must fulfil. You’ll find the full details in the table of content.

Who is a Medical Scribe?

According to Wikipedia, a medical scribe is a person, or paraprofessional, who specializes in charting physician-patient encounters in real-time, such as during medical examinations. Additionally, they locate information and patients for physicians and complete forms needed for patient care.

Most times, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that medical scribes are physicians. Well, it’s simply because they spend most of their time walking up and down with physicians gathering data.

Other times, they’re either gathering data in order to give a report that will help the physician make the best decision regarding patient healthcare. Indeed, these individuals are exceptional and have been helpful.

Why Be a Medical Scribe?

Due to the need to help physicians make accurate decisions when it came to their patient’s medical history, medical scribes came to perform a primary and much-needed function. Since they started performing this function, there’s been a sharp rise in the proper diagnosis of sicknesses.

Unlike so many other professions, you play a role that truly benefits humans greatly. You need to picture yourself as the assistant surgeon ensuring you save the life of a Father, Brother and Friend to people outside the theatre waiting for positive news.

The beautiful thing is that you don’t need a lot of qualifications. You can easily learn on the job although you’ll need basic requirements. As a graduate, you can easily fit into this role with just a little training from your place of duty.

In all honesty, becoming a medical scribe is key if you want to eventually venture into the medical field. With the experience you gather as a scribe, you will easily fit into any position in the health field.

Read more: How can I become a Chiropractor 

What Qualifies You for a Medical Scribe Position?

Before you can become a scribe in the field of medicine, you must prove that you’re worthy of such a position. To be precise, you must ensure your qualifications help you fit into that position effortlessly.

Generally speaking, some of these qualifications include;

  • High School Diploma/College Degree
  • Ability to Work 16 hours
  • Little Knowledge of Best Health Practices
  • Training Certification

What Skills Are Required to Function as a Medical Scribe?

Performing optimally at the medical scribe roles demands that you fulfill key responsibilities. Fulfilling these responsibilities excellently basically demands that you possess a strong skill set. These skill sets help you perform well and can give you a chance to rise in your position.

So, the key skill sets required to become a medical scribe include;

  • Effective writing skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Understanding of medical terminologies
  • Strong ethical standards
  • Communication
  • Documentation and Organization

How does a Medical Scribe Help a Physician?

At this point, we clearly understand that majority of the medical scribe’s duties lie with assisting the physician. However, we didn’t look into the process through which he achieves this objective.

So, a medical scribe help a physician in the following ways which include;

  • Accurate documentation of medical visits and physician procedures
  • Preparation of phone calls
  • Performance of clerical tasks
  • Address inconsistencies in medical documentation
  • Collect, Organize and Catalog Data for Physician Quality Reporting System
  • Proofreading and editing of all physician’s medical documents

What does a Medical Scribe make?

As a medical scribe, you benefit financially from using your expertise to solve problems. Although the financial benefit is not equal across all states and countries, we will give you an average.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of a medical scribe is $33,138. Indeed, we can agree that this salary is fair for an entry-level position in the health centre.

Read more: 15 Best Early Assurance Medical Programs

What is the Job Outlook of a Medical Scribe?

As a professional scribe, you must understand that your position is vital to proper and timely diagnosis. Hence, you are important to the general health and wellbeing of society.

According to BLS, the employment of medical transcriptionists is projected to decline 3% from 2018 to 2028. The growing volume of healthcare services is expected to continue to increase the demand for transcription services.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Scribe?

If you want to venture into the medical scribe field, you must ensure you fulfil all the requirements, make your application in addition to receiving an acceptance letter.

We cannot add that time frame into the time length because it varies so we will just focus on training time. Generally, it takes about 120 hours to become a medical scribe based on the training alone.

Read more: How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor

How to Become a Medical Scribe?

In this section, we will meticulously show you how to become a medical scribe. Furthermore, you will learn how to follow each step accordingly. So, the required steps you need to fulfil in order to become a medical scribe include;

  • Fulfil All the Requirements
  • Submit an Application
  • Attend Interview
  • Write a Typing Test
  • Accept Offer
  • Attend Training

#1. Fulfil all the Requirements

To even consider becoming a medical scribe, you must check to see you have fulfilled all the requirements. You can check for all the requirements you need to attain to even consider the position of a medical scribe. Although some requirements may vary by state, this conversation basically focuses on the general requirements.

#2. Submit an Application

Submitting your application is your way of indicating interest in an open position. So, you must submit your application to the required health institution telling them of your intention to serve as a medical scribe.

A good number of these applications are online. So, you have to submit your application to your desired institute online. However, if they desire that you submit your application through another means, please go ahead to follow it.

#3. Attend Interview

When your application pulls through, you will get a request to attend an interview. This interview is usually online and ran over a media platform, however, some health centres might want to practically see your knowledge in action.

During your interview, you must conduct yourself properly with all dignity, poise and flair. You must answer each question confidently always expressing a desire to learn and grow.

#4. Write a Typing Test

As a medical scribe, a large majority of your work falls on proper documentation of data. A large part of that organizing requires a lot of speed. So, as a medical scribe, you must possess the ability to type really fast.

After your interview session is complete, you will attend a typing test. The general aim of the typing test is to gauge your understanding, speed and ability to get, document and organize data. Hence, your organization makes it very easy for anyone to pick out the information they need.

The typing test is usually conducted by your choice health institution and the system varies per industry.

#5. Accept Offer

Immediately you complete your interview and typing test, you’ll wait for your choice of health institute to collate your results. You might need to wait for as much as two weeks depending on the number of your fellow applicants.

So, ensure you keep checking your mail in order to accept the offer to work as a medical scribe. The details of your work hours, schedule and all other information are totally dependent on your institute.

#6. Attend Training

Once you have accepted the offer, you will need to attend training. This training specifically focuses on the industry’s system of doing work in order to create uniformity.

You will get training in three key areas such as;

Web-Based

According to TrainingIndustry, web-based training refers to training done through a web-based or online environment. Web-based training is often referred to as virtual training, or distance learning, and utilizes cloud-based computing tools for access, administration, delivery and analytics.

This training will expose you to the key aspects of medical scribe duties. Owing to the fact that you will organize a lot of training over the web, you need this training to scale your game.

Instructor-Led

After your web-based training, an instructor will teach you and your other qualified applicants on some other areas of medical scribing. This teaching is usually conducted within halls or even over the web.

Clinical

The clinical training is the last training you will attend. This training is usually conducted at the clinic. It’s practical training which is usually conducted at the clinic.

In this training, a senior medical scribe in addition to new scribes like yourself will walk with a physician to gather data on a patient’s medical history and problems.

How to Become a Certified Medical Scribe?

For a lot of professions especially in the medical field, nothing beats a license. A license means that you have satisfied every necessary body responsible for ensuring only qualified professionals practice.

In America, the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists ensures that all scribes who serve different health institutes have a license. They usually organize an aptitude test and a licensing exam.

Every scribe who scales through the licensing exam and test gets a license. With this license, the scribe can fully function anywhere in the country.

FAQ on How to Become a Medical Scribe

What Qualifies You for a Medical Scribe Position?

To qualify as a scribe, you must have good knowledge of health practices, have a high work ethic in addition to knowledge of medical terms.

Who is a Medical Scribe?

A medical scribe is professional, who specializes in charting physician-patient encounters in real-time, such as during medical examinations.

What Skills Are Required to Function as a Medical Scribe?

To function as a scribe, you need good communication, writing and documentation skills.

What does a Medical Scribe make?

The average salary of a medical scribe is $33,138.

Conclusion

Medical scribes remain key to building the health industry. In fact, physicians all over the world remain grateful to them for the tremendous help they offer every time.

As a booming career path, you’re not making the wrong decision if you decide to become a medical scribe. You don’t even need to fulfil a lot of conditions to apply for a position.

I hope you make the best decision for yourself.

References

  • OHSU – History
  • Wikipedia – Medical Scribe
  • TrainingIndustry – Web-Based Training
  • ZipRecruiter – What Is the Average Medical Scribe Salary
  • BLS – Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Transcriptionists
  • AHDPG – The Job Description
  • ACMSS – Becoming Licensed: Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS™)

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