How to Become a Medical Scribe
Are you thinking about becoming a Medical Scribe? This article contains all the information you need to understand what a Medical Scribe does, what skills you need, what education is required as well as average pay rates for this job.
What Does a Medical Scribe Do?
A Medical Scribe assists the physician with non-clinical and administrative tasks. Medical Scribes work in hospitals and medical clinics.
A Medical Scribe’s primary responsibility is documenting medical data. Typical Medical Scribe duties include:
- Technical tasks, such as entering medical information into an online database
- Clerical tasks, such as writing down medical information into a medical record system
- Organizations tasks, such as organizing patient charts
Medical Scribes gather the patient’s medical information and write it down or enter it into an online medical record system. Typical responsibilities of a Medical Scribe include:
- Entering medical records into a portal, such as the Electronic Health Record (EHR)
- Charting doctor and patient encounters, such as documenting patient’s medical concerns
- Writing letters, such as referral letters for doctors
- Helping with e-prescribing, such as electronically prescribing medicine
- Keeping track of medical testing times, making sure patients get results in a timely manner
Medical Scribe Skills
While technical skills, such as being trained in health information management, are vital to becoming a Medical Scribe, other personality traits are required to succeed in this profession. This job requires working long shifts, which demands commitment and motivation. The fast-paced environment of a hospital or medical facility calls for quick thinking and good stress-management skills. A person who would excel in this field must have excellent communication skills to effectively work with physicians, lab technicians and nurses.
Other key Medical Scribe skills include:
- Typing proficiency
- Good penmanship
- Excellent organization skills
- Knowledge of medical terminology
- Ability to multitask
How Do You Become a Medical Scribe
Education and Training
Based on a review of Medical Scribe job advertisements across the country, a minimum requirement for this job is a high school diploma or equivalent; however, most jobs require a certification or a related college degree.
While there is no official license or credential for Medical Scribes, there are various types of training programs, both onsite and online. Many of these are good options for college students who are considering a profession in medicine, as these programs teach medical terminology and offer flexible schedules. These training courses often offer paid residency training, followed by help in finding employment after the completion of training.
The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) offers a Medical Scribe certification based on preclinical and clinical training in a patient care area. To qualify for the board examination, applicants would need to successfully complete 200 hours of clinical instruction, although exceptions exist for individuals with medical licenses or certifications. To become a Certified Medical Scribe, ACMSS students would need to pass the 100-question test with 80 percent or higher.
Finding a job
There is a growing demand for Medical Scribes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 15 percent growth for Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, which include Medical Scribes, through 2023. This demand is due to the fact that physicians want to devote more time to patient care versus entering medical records into databases. This means that Medical Scribes will be have a good chance of find jobs in hospitals, emergency rooms and other medical facilities.
To raise your chances of finding a good Medical Scribe position, craft a high-quality resume that describes your skills and education in the medical area. Use our Medical Scribe resume samples as a resource.
After composing a well-written resume, start your search for Medical Scribe employment opportunities. Utilize connections you have made in training programs to help secure a job.
To apply for a Medical Scribe position, write a professional cover letter to state your interest in the position offered and explain why you qualify for the job. Read our cover letter samples for inspiration.
How Much Do Medical Scribes Get Paid?
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, which include Medical Scribes, are paid an average salary of $35,900. The lowest paid Medical Scribes make $23,300 annually; while the highest paid earn $59,200.
Top 10 States for Medical Scribe Salary
Medical Scribes in the following states make the highest median salary in the U.S.:
- New Jersey: $58,300
- District of Columbia: $47,700
- Hawaii: $43,800
- Maryland: $43,700
- Colorado: $42,800
- Minnesota: $42,400
- Connecticut: $42,100
- California: $41,400
- Alaska: $40,600
- Oregon: $40,500
Medical Scribe Resources
We put together a list of online resources, which can help you find more information about a career as a Medical Scribe.
On the Web
ScribeAmerica – A resource that includes enrollment requirements for aspiring Medical Scribes.
Becker Hospital Review – Seventeen things to know about medical scribes.
Medical Scribe – Top 24 Medical Scribe Profiles.
Medical Scribe Jobs – A resource of Medical Scribe Jobs in your area.
@EMA_CIMs – Emergency Medical Associates (EMA) group.
@Phys_Recruiting – A medical Scribe recruiting service.
Information sources for this article include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job postings and other online sources.