Important Medical Scribe Skills: Definition And Examples
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 2 July 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A medical scribe requires various skills to perform administrative duties in the healthcare sector. To improve efficiency and accuracy in recording patients' information and taking notes from the physicians, these professionals require soft and technical skills. Learning about medical scribe skills can help you develop the skill set to perform your job duties. In this article, we explain what medical scribe abilities are and provide a list of skills useful for this profession with suggestions on developing them.
What Are Medical Scribe Skills?
Medical scribe skills help these professionals document a patient's family and medical history, allergies, treatments and lab results relevant to the patient's visit. To complete their work duties, a medical scribe needs a combination of technical and soft skills to ensure they follow guidelines, and ensure accurate documentation of patient records. Employers expect these professionals to have a keen attention to detail, as they comprehend the physician's conversation and enter details into the hospital software.
Examples Of Medical Scribe Skills
Here are some skills that an employer looks for in a medical scribe:
Medical scribes require strong organisational skills to complete their job duties to ensure they provide the best possible patient care. Much of their job role involves the organisation of medical records, report documents and detailed information concerning the patient. Apart from documenting patient information and physician communication, employers expect these professionals to follow medical procedures and lab test reports. Using their organisation skills, these professionals provide reliable information to doctors.
As a medical scribe, you might communicate regularly with physicians, patients and other medical professionals. These professionals require excellent written communication skills to accurately take notes that might help a doctor reach a logical conclusion to the diagnosis. A medical scribe's verbal communication skills are helpful during a meeting with a physician and patient, where they help clarify intentions and explain medical terms to patients.
Physical stamina is your ability to stand and work for an extended period without feeling tired. As these professionals constantly shadow physicians, they stand for a long time in various work environments, from emergency rooms and medical centres to clinics and hospitals. To stay attentive in the workplace, it is essential to maintain high energy levels.
Attention to detail
A part of a medical scribe's role involves documenting patients' information. These professionals require excellent attention to detail to rapidly input accurate information. Being detailed-oriented helps these professionals minimise the risk of errors when transcribing medical information. These skills are helpful because physicians rely on medical scribes for accurate information about medical history, allergies and prescription medicines.
Proficiency in medical terms
Although a medical scribe make notes based on what the doctors say to the patient, it is essential to understand the patient's meetings with the doctor. The ability to interpret and use various jargon that a doctor uses can help these professionals complete their job duties and document accurate patient information. Proficiency in medical terms ensures less probability of committing workplace mistakes.
As medical scribe uses patient management software, they require excellent computer skills to complete their job duties. Also, as a scribe might connect with doctors on an audio or video call, employers expect professionals proficient in using computers. Being able to navigate through the patient's database to extract a patient's medical history or any information required by the physician is essential. To excel as a scribe, you might require advanced data entry and typing skills.
Dedication and self-motivation
Even though medical scribes do not work with patients directly, their work help doctors concentrate on patients. This ensures that a patient has a positive experience during their treatment plan. Being dedicated and self-motivated help these professionals meet deadlines, complete work duties to perfection and manage the workplace even with remote working.
A medical scribe works with patients throughout the day, so having an excellent bedside manner is essential for a successful career. The ability to empathise with an ailing patient and give instruction to them is desirable for becoming a medical scribe. This skill also comes helpful in collecting patients' medical information and providing updates about their status while offering empathy to the patient's family members.
Medical scribes rely on multitasking skills to simultaneously manage different parts of their job. They use multitasking skills to listen to physicians and doctors, interpret their meaning and take notes simultaneously. As a medical scribe might work with various patients, they use multitasking skills to transition between documents.
Comprehension is the ability to understand and interpret meaning from the information you read and hear. When taking notes, these skills help you ensure accuracy. Comprehending what the doctor is saying can help improve your communication skills. A high level of comprehension ensures you understand others well and provide meaningful responses to a patient's query.
How To Improve Your Scribe Skills?
Follow these steps to improve your scribe skills:
1. Select one skill at a time
While you might want to develop and improve several skills, start by choosing one skill to enhance. This allows you to focus on a single skill, increasing your chances of improving it. For example, you might decide to improve your computer skills by enrolling in a computer course.
2. Practise that skill
After deciding the skill you want to improve, find time to practise it. Search for online or offline resources that can help you with skills, such as online or offline classes, articles and magazines. For instance, if you want to improve your computer skills, enrol in a computer learning class and learn how to use various software.
3. Create goals
Another step that can help you improve your skills is developing your goal so that you can monitor your progress. Create specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals. For instance, you might practise enhancing your typing skills by 15 words per minute within a year. This method helps you establish achievable goals.
4. Organise your workspace
Organisation can improve the way you work. Having a clean and organised workspace can help keep track of patients' files and perform work more efficiently. This gives you access to the required material without wasting time. It is also beneficial to keep digital files like scientific documents and physician notes, so they are accessible to others in your team.
5. Learn from others
Observing other medical scribes can help in identifying ways to improve your skills. Learning and taking inspiration from these professionals can help you learn the skills necessary for completing your job roles. You can even work along with an experienced medical scribe for a week to understand how they approach their work duties. Continuing to learn new skills can help you stay updated and allow you to excel as a medical scribe.
Medical Scribe Abilities In The Workplace
Here are a few ways in which you can use these skills in the workplace:
Be an active listener - Part of being a medical scribe includes listening and paying attention to what the doctor or physician says. It helps you take notes and prevent errors from occurring.
Be adaptable - Sometimes, you might be required to take notes for one or two patients and other days there might be an influx of patients in the physician's office. Being adaptable can help you work and adjust yourself to the changing work environment.
Be passionate about your job - Employees with excellent work ethics are reliable, productive and determined to complete their job duties. Showing passion for your work can help you complete work on time while ensuring optimal patient care.
How To Highlight Your Medical Scribe Abilities?
Use these steps to highlight your medical scribe abilities:
1. Highlight them in your resume
Before creating your resume, focus on reviewing the job description to know about the skills an employer requires. Listing relevant skills desirable for this position can show employers you qualify for the job. You can either include skills in the skill section or the work experience section. Include them in your resume to highlight that you are a suitable candidate.
2. Mention them in your cover letter
When highlighting skills in your cover letter, choose only one or two relevant skills. Explain how these skills make you a qualified candidate for the job role. Tell a story around the skill and explain how it helped you achieve your goals. This can attract the attention of employers to your job application.
3. Discuss your skills during the interview
As you interview with the recruiter, show your active listening and comprehending skills by carefully listening to what they are saying. Apart from testing your medical scribe's knowledge, they might examine the soft skills required for the job position. Try to remain enthusiastic and attentive during the interview. Also, before appearing for the interview, prepare for commonly asked interview questions. This can help you confidently answer questions and highlight your skills to the potential employer.
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