On a “normal day,” my provider starts at 8:30, so I log in at 8:15. When she appears in FFS (Fluency for Scribing), we converse and follow up on any unfinished charts from yesterday. As the patients begin to arrive, we typically access old notes and I start copying relevant information onto a Word document, preparing some default statements in advance. Once she “opens” the chart, I can transfer that information to the active page in the EHR. It is ideal when I have enough time to get those templates in before the patient enters the room. Once they begin the encounter, I write down pertinent notes, turning the session into readable prose for the HPI and assessment. An established patient visit usually takes 20 minutes, while a new patient evaluation can take up to 40 minutes. During those new assessments, I am often busy composing a thorough history based on patient statements and outside records.
Although I have only been working with my provider for 6 months, I have learned much, and we have built quite a camaraderie. Together, we have seen patients progress, noticed red flags, and seen which medications have improved symptoms and which have been ineffective. I am not a medical student, but I am positive that this job would be quite useful in developing a strong understanding of work flow, treatment, and even diagnosing. My provider claims I can “read her mind,” as I recognize the questions she asks and symptoms they endorse. If I am off the mark, she is right there to inform me. Meanwhile, I serve as her second set of ears as we listen to a patient’s story or as a second set of eyes as I can relay chart information while she is looking up something else. Together, we can normally complete a chart in the time it takes to see even the most complex patients.
(Sarah lives in the Midwest and works as a virtual medical scribe for a psychiatrist in Missouri.)
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