Day in the Life

Learn about what our scribes do daily and how it fits their schedules.

Scribes Make a Difference

Every scribe on our team can relate to these stories in some aspect. The impact that a scribe can have on the team they are on can be substantial. The scribe in turn also receives valuable time and knowledge from their hard work. Most of our team members go on to greater adventures - medical school, PA school, NP licensing, public health administration, and more! 

Flexible & Reliable

My days consist of going to class regularly, with times varying every day. Working in the emergency department is great because it is always open. I am able to head to a shift after my classes are over for the day. It is a great experience and change of pace to leave my college campus and head to the hospital, and only a short drive!

I am able to park my car nearby, enter the emergency department and see the familiar faces of the medical professionals I work with daily. I get my laptop set up, find my provider for the shift, and prepare for an evening of learning and fun. We typically see about 2-3 patients per hour, depending on the mod that we are located. This leaves me time to work on charts in between patients and obtain the information I need from my provider.

While in the patient room, I listen and gather information for several aspects of the chart all at once. About halfway through my shift, I take a few minutes to grab a bite to eat and refuel for the rest of my shift. During the last hour of the shift, I spend time wrapping up the rest of my patient charts with the provider. Once I have submitted all of my charts and am dismissed from the shift by my provider, I clean up, return the laptop and can head home to enjoy the rest of my day!

Throughout the shift, I have the opportunity to ask the provider questions and chat with them about their decision making process. This is helpful for me, as my goal is to go to medical school one day.

As I am a full-time student, I usually work two shifts per week. I am also able to work more shifts if I want to or trade shifts with other scribes. This has helped me during busy exam times, so that I can focus on studying. Each shift lasts between 8-9 hours on average, but I do sometimes spend a bit of extra time after my shift is over to make sure my charts are complete before sending them to the provider.

The emergency department is very unpredictable, which means some shifts are slow and others are very busy. During slow shifts, I have time to chat with providers and get their advice on the future of medicine. I may even have time to study for my classes or chat with other scribes who are on shift. Busy shifts may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but after a few months of practice, I felt more than prepared to handle any patient load. During these busy shifts, the key is staying organized and I make sure to keep a running list of my patients with details on what information I need to obtain to complete the chart. 

Scribes take a heavy workload off of providers by completing all of the patient encounter documentation. This allows the provider to spend more time talking with patients and facilitating their care. They also are able to enjoy their shift more and chat with their colleagues. The most significant impact is that the providers leave their shifts on time. They know that their documentation is complete, and they don’t have to spend hours after their shift completing patient charts. You can tell the patients are happier when the provider is focused on them and their concerns, instead of worrying about documenting the encounter while in the room. The providers know they have a reliable scribe who is documenting all necessary components of the chart.

Work & Play

I am thankful to have remote classes and also days off where I can work in-person in a specialty clinic to gain exposure in the field of medicine I plan to pursue. I am also on the basketball team at my university, so having the ability to work part-time around this schedule is ideal. 

I am either in class on campus, remotely, or in the gym. Having the ability to plan my week around my classes, practice, games and be able to work in the clinic is awesome. I have a predictable schedule that allows me to pre-plan my time, but also allows for some flexibility depending on the providers that I am planning to work with that week. 

The offices that I work in are spread around the Grand Rapids region, but that gives me a good change of scenery and is all within a reasonable short drive. When I arrive to my shift for the day, the office is just getting started up and other medical professionals are arriving as well. I get to my work station, review the schedule and start to prep charts while I await my provider and the first scheduled appointment for the day. Some days can be very busy with 40+ patients on the schedule, while others may be more relaxed with 20 patients and a few procedures. The charts are easy to complete, I learn a ton about the specialty from watching my provider work and interact with the patients, and I have the ability to connect with the staff in the office and help with other aspects of operations. Sometimes this includes helping to room the patients! 

We always have a break for lunch, and this gives me time to check my emails, chat with the provider and also catch up on any charts that I may have a bit more work to complete. 

I currently work two shifts per week in-between my other commitments. When the basketball season is over, I pick up another 1-2 shifts each week to supplement my income and gain more experience and hours in the clinical setting. Shifts are available Monday-Friday, 8-5 for the most part and that allows for me to go home and still have a night to myself. 

My providers are always excited to work with me. They don't have to take their charting home with them or stay in the office after hours to complete them. Their work-life balance has significantly improved and they are overall happier with their workflow, office staff, and patients alike. Being a part of the team and being able to take that burden off the providers is a great feeling!