As I mention in the about page, I have the privilege of being an ER Scribe. However, many people are unfamiliar with what an ER Scribe does. Here is a brief overview:
An ER Scribe is a specialized transcriptionist that works in the Emergency Room (ER) of hospitals. Scribes follow ER doctors as they see patients and record all the charting notes for that patient’s visit. Some Scribes write notes by hand, but it is becoming more and more common for hospitals to use electronic charts, so most of the scribing involves typing and clicking. ER Scribes are in the unique position to not only work in the hospital environment, but also observe and work directly with physicians as they practice medicine.
Is being an ER Scribe for me?
The first response to that question is, where do you live? ER Scribe programs are becoming more common, but are still rare across the United States. According to Wikipedia, only ten states have hospitals that offer ER Scribe programs. Most of the hospitals are in California.
Most Scribes are pre med students looking for some medical experience. The pay isn’t great ($8-$11 per hour), the hours are horrible, but trust me, the it’s all worth it. No amount of shadowing will replace the medical experience you get while an ER Scribe.
How do I become an ER Scribe?
Ask your pre med adviser if there are any Scribe programs, or similar jobs in the area. Otherwise, do some research yourself on the internet, checking that Wikipedia link above. That link may not be comprehensive however, so it may be helpful to research the hospitals in your area further. If you don’t have a program in the area, you could always move to an area that does have one, or who knows, maybe you could spur the development of a Scribe program at a local hospital just by asking. Give it a shot!
Let me know if you have any more questions about the job. I’ll be updating my experiences as a Scribe fairly often. From what you know already, do you think being an ER Scribe is something you’d like to do?
Click here for a great article about the position.