7 Skills Needed for Scribing – Or Any Career

(Reprinted from the August 2019 edition of Vital Signs, AQuity Solutions monthly scribing division newsletter.) 

1. Confidence

Do you apologize when you ask someone to clarify a point? Or when you need a piece of information repeated because you missed it? Are you hesitant to state an opinion? Confident people understand that other people may have the same questions they do and that everyone’s opinions matter. They also understand that the provider is also interested in chart accuracy and is often willing to help.

2. Collaboration

In the workplace, you should understand whose jobs are affected by your decisions and whose decisions affect your job. This helps you know what to expect of people and helps others build trust in you to do the things you agree to do. Interacting well with providers and coworkers will always help advance your career.

3. Communication

You need to be capable of expressing your expectations and responding to others’ expectations with confidence (See #1). Courtesy and professionalism are always important in your communication.

4. Systems thinking/critical thinking

You should base your decisions and actions on your knowledge of how the system you’re working in is set up. Knowing where your decisions fall in the overall system helps you weigh your options and determine the best course of action. According to AQuity scribe Blake Cline, “Critical thinking is crucial for success in any career, and especially medical scribing. It is typically used for problem solving or forming a judgment with given facts, and both of these scenarios occur often in most careers.”

5. Creative innovation

Try to think of multiple potential solutions for whatever situation you’re addressing rather than focusing on just one. Forcing yourself to explore what would happen if your “favorite” option weren’t available helps foster new ideas that may be worth pursuing. Creativity as a scribe can be demonstrated by innovative ways of working through technical or other difficulties.

6. Specialty content knowledge

Some might say this is the first and most obvious requirement for your job, but until you have honed your other skills, no one really cares how much you know. On the other hand, the other skills can be moot points if you don’t know your stuff!

(Anne Bean is the Scribe Training Administrator and Diverse Medicine liason for AQuity Solutions Scribing Division.)