Having a scribe would probably make my own life easier. Someone who can type quickly but most importantly accurately with a fraction of the mistakes I make. Being a medical scribe is a lot tougher though, as their vocabulary has to fit in all the medical jargon that the physicians use.
Here at Puget Sound Orthopaedics, as a part of our back office department, you will find a team of amazing medical scribes. The best way to identify them is to look for the person running around pushing a small desk on wheels with a laptop, as they follow physicians and medical assistants from room to room. Some of our physicians see over 30 patients a day and a scribe types some 200 words for each visit. That is 6,000 words a day, maybe they should give author George R.R. Martin some advice.
With that much work cut out for them in a day it should not be taken lightly when they have fewer job duties. They summarize patient visits and dictate the physician’s notes. They help prepare orders, whether it is for surgery or special testing. They research the patient before their exam regarding additional testing and office visits. In most cases the chart note is complete by the time the patient leaves the office. Has anyone asked their average words typed per minute?
Some of their favorite parts of the job are having interactions with the patients inside the rooms and getting to know them with the physician. They get to experience the healing process firsthand. They also love the physicians that they work with and enjoy building relationships with them and taking on the enigma that is the physician’s handwriting.
It is no surprise that after spending the day staring at a screen, our scribes like to spend their time outdoors. They enjoy going on hikes, walking their pets, gardening, surfing, arts and crafts, and listening to music.
When I asked their lead about the scribes she said “the doctors praise them for all the time they save them and how they would be lost without them.” The medical scribe team is a great team, they are great communicators, very independent, and have great attitudes every day and we hope that this article can spotlight the amazing impact they have on our organization.
Thank you for the speed, efficiency and great personalities that you bring to this practice!
By Gavin Smith for Puget Sound Orthopaedics