Tea Leaf

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I have been a scribe at an ED since I graduated high school, and have been working for a little over 2 years part time while going to school full time.

Ask me anything about scribing, school-work balance, or anything that you want.
 
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May 19, 2017
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You are so lucky. I can't find a scribe job. I had an interview with PhysAssist but they wanted me to have at least 4 days a week open to work. I probably dodged a bullet with them anyways since they were only paying $7.25/hr and had unpaid training and wanted you to do all these tests. It was indentured servitude IMO.
 
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Tea Leaf

Tea Leaf

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May 9, 2016
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You are so lucky. I can't find a scribe job. I had an interview with PhysAssist but they wanted me to have at least 4 days a week open to work. I probably dodged a bullet with them anyways since they were only paying $7.25/hr and had unpaid training and wanted you to do all these tests. It was indentured servitude IMO.
Wow that sounds awful you definitely dodged a bullet. I know that there are a lot of areas that really want scribes right now, and if you look at the website for company scribe jobs (like scribeamerica and physassist) they list the locations and available jobs.
Workday
Job Openings - Epicor HCM
CIM Scribe Careers
Or a lot of times if you just search for it some private offices/ urgent cares post listings as well! Good luck!
 
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May 18, 2017
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You are so lucky. I can't find a scribe job. I had an interview with PhysAssist but they wanted me to have at least 4 days a week open to work. I probably dodged a bullet with them anyways since they were only paying $7.25/hr and had unpaid training and wanted you to do all these tests. It was indentured servitude IMO.
wow. try scribe america. i started at 10/ hr and went to 12 by the end (i know not much still) and training was paid for.

i wont hijack the thread but its a great experience if you can land a job! and dont try phys assist if they are screwing ppl over that much......

for reference, my wpm is 80-90. i will say that my wrists were on fire some days scribing internal medicine. there are no shortcuts in that field, and there is a ton to cover. specialities are a bit easier to scribe for
 

UniSushi

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@MD_Odyssey Try out ProScribes. You can apply online for a city near you. I'm a current scribe trainer and they are pretty accommodating for pre-meds. They also provide rec letters with input from ER physicians you would be working with.
 
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mellie0

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Apr 23, 2015
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Does it make you want to be an ER doc or does it deter you from it? And why?
I have been a scribe at an ED since I graduated high school, and have been working for a little over 2 years part time while going to school full time.

Ask me anything about scribing, school-work balance, or anything that you want.
 
Oct 1, 2017
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You are so lucky. I can't find a scribe job. I had an interview with PhysAssist but they wanted me to have at least 4 days a week open to work. I probably dodged a bullet with them anyways since they were only paying $7.25/hr and had unpaid training and wanted you to do all these tests. It was indentured servitude IMO.
Scribing always pay minimum wage. I feel like scribing preys on aspiring pre meds offering them clinical experience which is true, but requires at least a 1 year commitment because they know their pay is bad. You can a job paying more than twice the pay of a scribe and get clinical experience via volunteering and shadowing.

I know you should work doing something you like and I am. But you also need to eat, so do something that pays well while getting the experience.

Unless you got a scribe job as a freshman like OP or something like that, scribing is, at least in my opinion, for those that settle and are afraid to say "this isn't good enough for me." And get a much higher paying job while getting clinical experience as a volunteer and shadowing. The applications aren't cheap and you need to eat too.
 
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Does it make you want to be an ER doc or does it deter you from it? And why?
Not the OP, but I've been working as a scribe for around 3 years now - mostly in the ED but also at a pediatric clinic. Personally I want to pursue EM. Both experiences were great and gave me an idea of the pros and cons involved, I just felt like my personality matched EM better. I could definitely see firsthand the burnout that happens to ER docs though.
 
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Feb 10, 2016
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Scribing always pay minimum wage. I feel like scribing preys on aspiring pre meds offering them clinical experience which is true, but requires at least a 1 year commitment because they know their pay is bad. You can a job paying more than twice the pay of a scribe and get clinical experience via volunteering and shadowing.

I know you should work doing something you like and I am. But you also need to eat, so do something that pays well while getting the experience.

Unless you got a scribe job as a freshman like OP or something like that, scribing is, at least in my opinion, for those that settle and are afraid to say "this isn't good enough for me." And get a much higher paying job while getting clinical experience as a volunteer and shadowing. The applications aren't cheap and you need to eat too.
Yes, yes, and yes - completely agree that the pay for being a scribe is horrible. At the start, I held a second higher paying job (not related to the medical field) until my scribe pay was bumped up after training. That being said, for someone who is busy and doesn't have the time to work, volunteer/shadow, and go to school, I think that being a scribe is a good way to combine working and one-on-one shadowing. If you really need the money, consider being an EMT or nurse - those also give you a boost up in medical school regarding knowledge, although they involve much more time and training.
 
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Yes, yes, and yes - completely agree that the pay for being a scribe is horrible. At the start, I held a second higher paying job (not related to the medical field) until my scribe pay was bumped up after training. That being said, for someone who is busy and doesn't have the time to work, volunteer/shadow, and go to school, I think that being a scribe is a good way to combine working and one-on-one shadowing. If you really need the money, consider being an EMT or nurse - those also give you a boost up in medical school regarding knowledge, although they involve much more time and training.
How can you be too busy to volunteer/shadow and not be too busy to scribe? You only need to volunteer 3 to 4 hours a week.
 

Styrene

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I have been a scribe at an ED since I graduated high school, and have been working for a little over 2 years part time while going to school full time.

Ask me anything about scribing, school-work balance, or anything that you want.
When can CPR be billed separately during critical care?
 
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How can you be too busy to volunteer/shadow and not be too busy to scribe? You only need to volunteer 3 to 4 hours a week.
Sorry, probably wasn't clear enough with my wording here. If someone wants to do all 3 (school, volunteer/shadow, and work), scribing helps to combine 2 of those (working and shadowing) together.
 
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I'd feel like I'd be better off as a ER Tech which is what I'm trying to go for now but how do you like the job? Do you feel like you're actually getting anything from it?
 

MareNostrummm

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Scribing always pay minimum wage. I feel like scribing preys on aspiring pre meds offering them clinical experience which is true, but requires at least a 1 year commitment because they know their pay is bad. You can a job paying more than twice the pay of a scribe and get clinical experience via volunteering and shadowing.

I know you should work doing something you like and I am. But you also need to eat, so do something that pays well while getting the experience.

Unless you got a scribe job as a freshman like OP or something like that, scribing is, at least in my opinion, for those that settle and are afraid to say "this isn't good enough for me." And get a much higher paying job while getting clinical experience as a volunteer and shadowing. The applications aren't cheap and you need to eat too.
My scribing job pays over $17+ per hour so that's not always the case. Also, if you leave the big scribing companies and go private practice you'll definitely make more money (over $20+). If you are a good ED scribe you will have some very marketable skills if you can sell yourself.
 
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Tea Leaf

Tea Leaf

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Thanks for the links. When you refer to “search for it” are you meaning a google search or on particular websites? Ie Glassdoor...
Yes that is what I mean! I would say try both! A lot of times there are job openings at family practice locations that don't use scribe companies, so it's easier to find the listings there!
 
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Tea Leaf

Tea Leaf

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Does it make you want to be an ER doc or does it deter you from it? And why?
I think that it's made me learn a lot about myself and what I want. I like seeing patients and figuring out what is wrong, but after they're dispo-ed, I wonder a lot about what happened to them and how they're doing. I also like the adrenaline rush and spontaneity, like walking in for a 12 hour shift and wondering who is going to come in today and who is waiting to be seen.

I don't know what I want to specialize in yet (and to be honest I don't think about it that much). Although I love working in the ER as a scribe, I don't think I would want to be an ER doctor because I would feel like something is missing. I'm not sure if that makes sense? Like sometimes I feel dissatisfied- someone comes in for abdominal pain, all the tests are negative, discharge with diagnosis of unspecified abdominal pain, follow up with your primary care giver in 2-3 days. I don't know what exactly makes me feel dissatisfied-I know that this is the nature of the ED. Rule out any emergency pathology and dispo, but I guess I want more, even though I don't really know what "more" is.

I hope this answered your question!
 
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Tea Leaf

Tea Leaf

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I'd feel like I'd be better off as a ER Tech which is what I'm trying to go for now but how do you like the job? Do you feel like you're actually getting anything from it?
Right now, I love my job. I know most people at the hospital and they know me, and it feels like they're watching me grow. I definitely feel like I'm getting a lot from this job- I always learn something new every shift. As a scribe, you get to see the slight differences between providers and how they care for and treat patients, which is really interesting too.

I will admit there are some hefty cons (and yes I do think about quitting all the time I won't lie). Scribing is a stressful job and you have to be able to adapt to each provider, their preferences, and their personality. It's mentally exhausting and sometimes it feels like it's not worth it. Also, the time commitment is a lot. Most companies that hire part time scribes require a minimum of 2 shifts a week or 20 hours. For my freshman year when I first started scribing, most of my weeks consisted of school M-F and then work 7-7 on Saturday and 10-10 on Sunday I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS TO ANYONE! I guess that it was partially that scribing was my dream job throughout high school and financial circumstances at home compelled me to keep my job. Your GPA can take a hit, and you need to remind yourselves that it's just a job and school is more important (do as I say not as I do T_T I'm basically a scribe slave). Also as a side note, when you work for a large company, your chief scribe may frequently change and some may really suck. This is bad because your scheduling ends up changing as well, and some chief scribes aren't as flexible.

I don't have experience as an ED tech, but I have one friend who was a scribe for 3 years and recently became a tech. She told me that scribing was, to her, more stressful mentally (this is just one person's experience/ opinion it may not be true for everyone) and being a tech was more physically exhausting. I guess when you're a tech you get more hands on experience, and from what I've heard a lot more flexibility in choosing your hours!(I have one friend who works per diem as a PCT and works 8 hours a week-how is that for a school-life balance?)
With all the cons considered, I definitely think that as a scribe you get as close to the medical decision making process that you can get with any job, and I cherish all of my experiences. You will definitely "get something" from this job and learn a lot, but it is not always for everyone and is not always student-friendly. I will honestly say that the experiences and knowledge you learn will not always outweigh the cons which is important to remember with any job I think, especially as a premed student.
 
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I also like the adrenaline rush and spontaneity, like walking in for a 12 hour shift and wondering who is going to come in today and who is waiting to be seen.
Adrenaline rush? Do you work in TCC? I work at one of the biggest hospitals in the country and I have never felt an adrenaline rush haha.
 
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Catalystik

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I have been a scribe at an ED since I graduated high school, and have been working for a little over 2 years part time while going to school full time.

Ask me anything about scribing, school-work balance, or anything that you want.
I what ways do you interact with the patients? Is there a policy in place prohibiting patient conversation or suggesting a response if one asks you a question?
 
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I what ways do you interact with the patients? Is there a policy in place prohibiting patient conversation or suggesting a response if one asks you a question?
i was a scribe too and interacted with plenty of patients. i was in IM though so they were mostly patients that got to know me over almost 2 years. ive always wondered about the experience of an ED scribe though... must be more impersonal
 

Catalystik

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i was a scribe too and interacted with plenty of patients. i was in IM though so they were mostly patients that got to know me over almost 2 years. ive always wondered about the experience of an ED scribe though... must be more impersonal
Some scribing companies prohibit any patient interaction, which to my mind removes some of the value of the experience. I am hoping this isn't a growing trend.
 

STcmOCSD

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I what ways do you interact with the patients? Is there a policy in place prohibiting patient conversation or suggesting a response if one asks you a question?
In my ED I do not talk to patients unless the directly address me. They expect us to remain quiet unless our presence is noted. We’re not all stealthy ninjas like we thought though.
 
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SirCourageWolf

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Some scribing companies prohibit any patient interaction, which to my mind removes some of the value of the experience. I am hoping this isn't a growing trend.
When I started 7 years ago, this was not a thing but once scribing became more popularized there were liability concerns and this leads many companies to be rather explicit about scribes speaking to patients. That said, it's a soft rule at many facilities and you'll learn the utility of navigating corporate "rules" vs site preferences.
 

Coltuna

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Some scribing companies prohibit any patient interaction, which to my mind removes some of the value of the experience. I am hoping this isn't a growing trend.
ScribeAmerica is one such company that makes it a point to say that you aren't permitted to speak to or touch patients. With that being said, doctors have actually let me take full histories in the past from people that they knew pretty well (small community hospital) and palpate/auscultate abnormalities during physical exams (as long as it isn't causing the patient pain like feeling a mcburneys point or something). However, I highly doubt this is the norm.
 
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ScribeAmerica is one such company that makes it a point to say that you aren't permitted to speak to or touch patients. With that being said, doctors have actually let me take full histories in the past from people that they knew pretty well (small community hospital) and palpate/auscultate abnormalities during physical exams (as long as it isn't causing the patient pain like feeling a mcburneys point or something). However, I highly doubt this is the norm.
i worked for scribe america and as courage wolf pointed out, there is a difference between corporate rules and site preferences.

what you did though, is definitely not the norm because it sounds pretty illegal lol. im sure you know not to disclose that you did that
 
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Coltuna

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I think that it's made me learn a lot about myself and what I want. I like seeing patients and figuring out what is wrong, but after they're dispo-ed, I wonder a lot about what happened to them and how they're doing. I also like the adrenaline rush and spontaneity, like walking in for a 12 hour shift and wondering who is going to come in today and who is waiting to be seen.

I don't know what I want to specialize in yet (and to be honest I don't think about it that much). Although I love working in the ER as a scribe, I don't think I would want to be an ER doctor because I would feel like something is missing. I'm not sure if that makes sense? Like sometimes I feel dissatisfied- someone comes in for abdominal pain, all the tests are negative, discharge with diagnosis of unspecified abdominal pain, follow up with your primary care giver in 2-3 days. I don't know what exactly makes me feel dissatisfied-I know that this is the nature of the ED. Rule out any emergency pathology and dispo, but I guess I want more, even though I don't really know what "more" is.

I hope this answered your question!
Hope OP doesn't mind that I contribute a bit to the thread as well, but I've been a full-time scribe in an ER for the past 3 years. I completely agree with quoted above. You may see 10 minor complaints for every truly acute EMERGENT chief complaint, but it's these patients that really keep me interested in ER. Watching the doc run a code seriously makes me upset that I have to wait 8+ years to have the opportunity to be that guy/girl. HOWEVER, ED hours can really really suck and the providers at my site rarely if ever get out on time at the end of their 12 hour shift-- Most of which are in a string of 4-5 shifts, so they can have a week off.
 
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Coltuna

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i worked for scribe america and as courage wolf pointed out, there is a difference between corporate rules and site preferences.

what you did though, is definitely not the norm because it sounds pretty illegal lol. im sure you know not to disclose that you did that
The doc is in the room the whole time and the patient has given them the okay. He's taking his own complete history right after I do as well lol. I've actually seen students who are just shadowing do this same thing. It's not like I'm adding anything meaningful to the trajectory of patient care. The doc is literally just throwing me a bone. I should add that I'm independently hired by the hospital. The ScribeAmerica policy bit was just filling for the sake of the thread from people I know in that company.
 
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The doc is in the room the whole time and the patient has given them the okay. He's taking his own complete history right after I do as well lol. I've actually seen students who are just shadowing do this same thing. It's not like I'm adding anything meaningful to the trajectory of patient care. The doc is literally just throwing me a bone. I should add that I'm independently hired by the hospital. The ScribeAmerica policy bit was just filling for the sake of the thread from people I know in that company.
im not one of those people. just makin sure you know its not a good idea to disclose it lol. i would have loved to have that kind of experience
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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The doc is in the room the whole time and the patient has given them the okay. He's taking his own complete history right after I do as well lol. I've actually seen students who are just shadowing do this same thing. It's not like I'm adding anything meaningful to the trajectory of patient care. The doc is literally just throwing me a bone. I should add that I'm independently hired by the hospital. The ScribeAmerica policy bit was just filling for the sake of the thread from people I know in that company.
Yeah, as cool as that might have been, don’t mention that.
 

Coltuna

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Yeah, as cool as that might have been, don’t mention that.
I actually don't see how this is any different than a doc asking a medical student questions in the room with the patient present. In fact, I would argue that I probably know more than the average 3rd year medical student about what constitutes a proper history after working in the same medical setting for 3 years and seeing these encounters for at least 30 hours weekly. And he's letting me listen to heart murmurs or feel a strep rash, not do a rectal exam. Maybe "do a full history" was the wrong way of saying that the doctor would ask me in real time what questions I might follow up with as he was getting the history. I actually do agree it's not a great idea to disclose this information to hosptial employees but I don't know that this puts the patient at risk and is more political than anything else. Small community settings are sooooooo much different than any other setting. These people are friends of the doctors and many have seen me grow up haha.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I actually don't see how this is any different than a doc asking a medical student questions in the room with the patient present. In fact, I would argue that I probably know more than the average 3rd year medical student about what constitutes a proper history after working in the same medical setting for 3 years and seeing these encounters for at least 30 hours weekly. And he's letting me listen to heart murmurs or feel a strep rash. Not do a rectal exam. Maybe "do a full history" was the wrong way of saying that the doctor would ask me in real time what questions I might follow up with as he was getting the history. I actually do agree it's not a great idea to disclose this information to hosptial employees but I don't know that this puts the patient at risk and is more political than anything else.
Whether you know more than a med student or not is irrelevant. I doubt you are covered by the hospital to do that kind of stuff, as harmless as it seems. If the doctor and patient are okay with it, go for it. Just don’t advertise it, and definitely don’t do anything more than what you were describing.
 
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Coltuna

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Whether you know more than a med student or not is irrelevant. I doubt you are covered by the hospital to do that kind of stuff, as harmless as it seems. If the doctor and patient are okay with it, go for it. Just don’t advertise it, and definitely don’t do anything more than what you were describing.
Okay fair enough! Thanks!
 
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Tea Leaf

Tea Leaf

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@Tea Leaf What the biggest mistake you've made while scribing and what did you do about it?
I don’t think there is one huge mistake that I made that I can look back to, I think I’ve made a lot of mistakes which is part of the nature of the job (scribes doing doctor charts vs. doctors doing doctor charts- we will make mistakes). I do remember being a new scribe and screwing up all of a provider’s charts- before we saw each patient he would go over their medical records and want certain information in the chart. I guess I misunderstood something I learned in my training and thought that it was supposed to be in another part of the chart and not in the format or detail that he wanted.

When he finally reviewed his charts, he started to yell at me- “Where is (piece of information)? Why isn’t it in the chart? Do you think I spent all of that time going over that information for nothing? Now I have to go back through these 17 charts and fix this! This is ridiculous!” He was an older doctor and very well known, and I definitely got a lot of stares from staff as he continued to yell at me (for like a good 5-10 minutes). My eyes began to tear and I felt so awful and embarrassed, I wanted to disappear.

He went on a lunch break and when he returned, I remember forcing myself to get it together and being chirpy and polite. Now, I get along with him a lot more, but I definitely remember how he treated me- I don’t think that he reacted appropriately. He knew I was a new scribe, and I made a mistake.

I guess to answer the “what did you do about it” part of your question, there wasn’t a lot to do- I had to learn not to take it personally (even when providers make personal attacks).

Whenever I did make mistakes due to gaps in knowledge, I made sure to google all I could about that topic. You only learn so much during training, and the rest you have to learn from experience, and googling.

In terms of scribe and school life balance, a huge mistake I made (especially my freshman year) was overworking myself. Literally had like 3 days the entire semester that I didn't have work or school. Grades took a hit. Don't do this!!! I've learned to never succumb to the company pressure of working more shifts/ covering other shifts. This is not easy as a new scribe because management can "bully" you in to working a lot of hours and obstructive shifts each week, always with the threat of being easily replaced by another eager premed who probably has better time management skills or is more willing to work these hours. As a scribe with experience, I was able to firmly speak to my boss and say that I don't want to quit, but I will if I have to- I can't work more than (x) hours per week, please work with this.

I hope this answered your question!
 
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