One false assumption many people seem to have is that anyone can become a medical scribe. False! The reality is that this program is not for everyone and the sooner you learn this, the sooner you can start looking for other options in the medical field best suited for your skills. Apart from basic requirements such as knowing medical terminology and basic anatomy, there are other must-haves every scribe should possess.

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1. Communication Skills

A clinic or a hospital is a pretty hectic place to work in and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. If you think listening and taking notes as a healthcare professional dictates something important, then you’d be wrong. Writing down every piece of information every patient and doctor provides is not easy and you’ll need to learn to communicate with them most efficiently. It may sound easy but it’s not. This is an asset you should already have before taking on the job.

2. Ability to Multi-Task

The job duties of a medical scribe include dictation, taking phone calls, clerical tasks, documenting patients’ medical history and physical exams, spotting mistakes in medical documentation, collecting data, attending training, and more. Think of how difficult it would be to do an outstanding job if you’re not able to multi-task. This is one of those requirements you can’t by-pass.

3. Language Skills

A primary care medical scribe needs to possess the ability to write routine reports and correspondence. You must be good at spelling and proficient in typing. Scribes are required to have excellent grammar and good oral communication skills. You should be able to listen to complex notions and then summarize them in a clear manner. This also means that your handwriting must be legible.

4. Know Computer Functions

Having computer skills is yet another consideration, as you’ll rely on them to do your job. You should know how to use electronic medical record software or be capable of learning their functions very fast. Scribes must also enter data into a database, send emails and attachments, and prepare correspondence and other medical documents. To perform some of these tasks you will need to proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel.

5. Organizational Skills

The job of a scribe requires concentration and exceptional organizational skills. And the reason for this is that many scribes get overwhelmed with the amount of work they need to do each day. To avoid burnout and making mistakes or not meeting deadlines, you must have excellent organizational skills. You need to know how to organize your time to be most efficient and how to prioritize tasks. And that’s not easy; any scribe will tell you that even for the best of them it can get hard sometimes.

6. Good Physical Condition

A scribe performs duties that require them to stand for many hours, sit, walk, use their hands, climb, kneel, and even crawl. They also need to have certain vision abilities such as close and distance vision, depth perception, and more. Furthermore, scribes are often required to lift weights of up to 10 pounds. As a scribe, you need to meet these physical demands.

Working as a scribe can be one of the most rewarding jobs, but it can also be a burden for those who aren’t prepared for it. To be passionate about the industry and about helping people is not enough. Do consider the requirements discussed above and ask yourself – “Do I really have what it takes?”