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Any other ED scribes out there?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by iono101, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. iono101

    iono101 2+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    I just got off a shift tonight, from the Emergency Dept. and I just wanted some input.

    First I've been working as an ED scribe for at least 1 year now and have been able to keep up pretty well with all the Docs so far.

    Tonight, I was working with an attending that I usually find difficult to work with, and we were extremely busy. The attending was there much earlier than scheduled and saw a few pts without me. So even though I showed up 15 mins early, I was already behind. Before I could even clean up charts of the pts that the Dr saw without me, a trauma came in that required sedation and intubation. I was trying to fill out the info for the sedation procedure, but the Dr basically told me not to ask her any questions. I understood that she was busy and stopped asking. As you fellow scribes out there know, good communication is directly associated with the quality of our charts. Anyways, I didn't have too much time to dwell on it because, 10 mins later multiple traumas rolled in, needing another sedation/intubation. While we were dealing with all these traumas, the residents were building up a pile of pts that we had to see. The rest of the shift was basically spent catching up to the resident's pts. We basically came in, did a quick exam, told the pt was probably going to happen, then left the rest to the resident.
    Because of the rush, all my charts were extremely basic. I was left at the end of the shift with 30+ charts basically with a quick "I have seen and examined the pt, informed of plan" and "Spoke with resident, no change in plan". Some physical exams were incomplete.Usually my charts are much more comprehensive and eloquent.

    I'm sure I'm going to get some hate here, either from my chief scribe, or the Dr for having ****ty charts. Maybe I'll even get fired. I'm having trouble sleeping tonight, due to some anxiety about the consequences. The thing is, I don't think that is completely my fault! We were drowning in pts from the beginning of the shift... if the charts are lacking, it's because I didn't have anything else to document. Anytime, I was told something to include in the chart, I made sure to include it. Now I'm just sitting here, feeling like I'm bad at my job, which I hate. I've honestly done very well with all the other Drs, with some even sending me notes thanking me for perfect charts.

    Soo... give me your input. Did I **** up? Do I suck? Have you had similar experiences? Whatever.

    PS. I want to quit this job. 1 year here +100hrs of volunteering is more than enough on my application. But we are short staffed, and I feel guilty.
    HinduHammer likes this.
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  3. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2014
    Hey there! Don't beat yourself up. You had the absolute worst scenario: difficult, fast-paced physician and an extremely busy shift including multiple traumas. You survived the shift, and you did the best you could. Unless your ED and scribe company expect you to be "perfect" after working for a year (and that's highly unreasonable), then I think you did fine given the situation.

    Take my words with a grain of salt, I've worked for a much shorter time than you have (3 months), but I've had days like yours.
  4. iono101

    iono101 2+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Thanks. It just another one of shifts. At least its over. But I'm back tomorrow night, right after school. FML. I guess this is what we signed up for...
  5. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2014
    Not quite: I'm doing this as a gap year activity since I've already graduated college. But good luck!
  6. swolebrah

    swolebrah Misc Brah. Hugh Myron? 2+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Bro I'v had a attendingn who avgs 30-40 Pts a shift . He sees traumas right from the EMS roll in and ****. He's notorious for making the scribes feel like **** and always has lengthy MDMs and disp phrases . You did your best and we both know your a good scribe by the feedback from the other doctors . There will always be dick head docs who just don't care, just realize that's life.

    You'll be fine, especially if you saw lvl 1 traumas and lots of other patients . How come you haven't changed jobs , I'm just waiting for my LOR and I'm out lol. I already got a another job (night club security haha) lined up, the hours and pay just don't work for me .

    Got a shift tomorrow actually , hopefully it's not to busy. Get some sleep bro.
  7. Mr. MCAT

    Mr. MCAT 2+ Year Member

    May 29, 2014
    I've been scribing for almost 2 years now and I definitely know where you are coming from. I think the doctor understands that you both were busy and honestly probably appreciates not being bugged by you for information so she could focus on her job. Next time you see them, just be like "hey sorry for the crappy charts, I knew you were busy and I didn't want to distract you since the patients come first" and blah blah blah.
  8. iono101

    iono101 2+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    I appreciate the input guys. It's nice hearing that I'm not alone. I don't see a lot of posts about the stress and difficulties we see. I understand no one wants to show weakness or else "than your not cut out for medicine blah blah blah" conversation appears. But the reality is, sometimes this job sucks and it's nice being able to vent.
  9. gtbROX

    gtbROX 2+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2011
    Bay Area
    I don't think you have anything to worry about. Most doctors don't care enough to actually get scribes fired, and from your post, it seems like you made a good effort. If you do get fired, it'll suck, but hopefully you have at least one doctor in that ED that likes you or can vouch for you so you can use him/her as your AMCAS activity contact/LOR.

    But I think you're fine, don't stress.
  10. HinduHammer

    HinduHammer We Do Not Sow 2+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    Dude, I' hear you. I was chief scribe at a trauma hospital before, it sucked. Being chief made it slightly more tolerable since I had some control over the schedule and which doc I got to work with, but it also sucked since I had to pick up missed shifts and constantly had to work ****ty shifts so other scribes wouldn't complain about me. Anyway, dude scribing straight up sucks after 3 months. First 3 months are awesome, you see awesome stuff, you feel like your part of the HC Team, etc. The best thing about scribing for me is that I know for sure I never want to do EM.

    Regarding your problem, if I were you, I would ask several docs for their emails or phone numbers because you want to ask them for a LOR. They will certainly say yes, especially if you tell them the letter is not due for a long time. Then get their email addresses and get an Interfolio account. Send them the LOR requests with a template of what a good LOR should look like plus several points about you as a scribe. For ex, the ones I sent to my docs: "HinduHammer was an accurate, diligent professional and I enjoyed working with him." "HinduHammer always showed curiosity for the pathophysiologies of the cases we saw and would utilize free time to ask me question." "HinduHammer often asked about my treatment plans for my patients" "I believe HinduHammer truly loves medicine." Stuff like that.

    Straight up man, do it, get the letters now, quit. Scribing sucks, you are hard labor for some fat cats and a bloated scribe company who charge 5 times what you are getting paid, and you do all of the work. Now that you have the skills, move to a different opportunity like a free clinic (what I did and loving it!) or use the resume boost and connections to pursue medical assistant or get a CNA to get hands-on experience. Over a year and 1000+ hours of scribing? Yeah, you've paid your dues. Get out, not worth the stress in my opinion, and you've probably learned 90-95% of the maximum you will ever learn as a scribe. That's my $.02.
    Stannis Baratheon and gtbROX like this.
  11. Hospitalized

    Hospitalized 2+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2014
    Ultimately, the physician must sign the chart, so it is their duty to make sure it is complete (per my scribe company). You are doing the best job you are capable of. You shouldn't be given **** for trying your best, and you shouldn't be expected to be able to keep up with multiple traumas as someone who hasn't even entered medical school yet. Scribes are nothing more then an accessory to physicians. Some just like to use them as someone to think out loud to and teach to. The horror stories I hear about scribe companies is so unfamiliar to me, but then again maybe I've just ended up in a good company. Every doctor I've worked with has been very understanding and helpful with trying to improve my charting abilities as I gain more experience.

    I can't imagine why you would want to quit scribing. You think it sucks? It doesn't make sense to me. Working as a scribe, getting an inside vision into a physician's treatment of patient's, that experience is invaluable. To say that you want to give it up is to say that you don't have the desire to improve your patient care knowledge. I can guarantee that you will regret quitting scribing come time for residency. There is no feasible explanation to give up a solid knowledge source with your future colleagues.

    To put it in perspective, one of the ER docs I was working with stated that he "Wished he could shadow" one of the older docs (a notoriously respected ER doctor) who worked for the same company at another facility. He was a doctor. And he still wanted to shadow. Medicine is a constant pursuit of knowledge, you should never want to "quit" an opportunity to gain knowledge.
    Mr Roboto likes this.
  12. DJones13

    DJones13 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    As a current Chief Scribe, do this and don't look back. Everything here is 100% accurate
  13. Rinya

    Rinya 2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2014
    I've been an ER scribe for 3 years now. You won't get fired for one busy shift. We all get them and that was an intense day with circumstances out of your control. Ultimately it's the doctor's chart and he has to sign it so don't beat yourself up. If the doctor says "I'll fill it in, don't ask questions" it generally means they can do it quicker or with less effort than we can.

    I personally think this is the most fun job I have ever had. I would never consider quitting with all the valuable experiences and exposure I've had. Not to mention I received the most incredible LOR from one doctor in specific who is notoriously hard on scribes.

    I recommend keeping this job as long as you can, personally. It's invaluable experience and you can't quit based on one shift. Keep going on it for now!! It's worth it!!
  14. Stannis Baratheon

    Stannis Baratheon Lord of the Seven Kingdoms 2+ Year Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    HinduHammer, I admire your avatar, but my brothers are dead. Your lord would like to know, what qualities make for an effective scribe?
    Mr Roboto likes this.
  15. Mr Roboto

    Mr Roboto 2+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2013
    A galaxy far, far away...
    You've got a year of scribe experience in the ED, why not call around to private practices and see who's hiring? Hours are better, pay is sometimes better.

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