AUGUSTA, GA – Exhausted and admittedly burned out from taking notes for emergency room (ER) health care professionals at Augusta Medical Center, medical scribe Amy Bruckner has taken it upon herself to hire her own medical scribe to help ease the burden.
“Meet Tim, he’s my new medical scribe,” Bruckner told us. She had pep in her step once again, excited to introduce us to Tim Penn.
The unrelenting burden of medical documentation, which has contributed to the epidemic of burnout seen over the past decade, has led to the burgeoning of medical scribes. Though this has somewhat eased the lives of doctors and other personnel by letting them refocus on medical-decision making, an unintended consequence has been the increased burnout felt by medical scribes.
“The ER docs I shadow told me that since no one was looking out for them they took it upon themselves to hire medical scribes, and they’re definitely much happier because of it,” Bruckner explained. She took the advice to heart and decided to make some changes too. “If they can hire medical scribes, so can I.”
Like Bruckner, Penn is also a first-year medical student at Medical College of Georgia. Interestingly enough, Penn learned about being a medical scribe from Bruckner herself.
“She was gloating about the job, saying it helped her learn medical terminology, how to document, and it was a good way to earn some money during medical school,” Penn told Gomerblog. “That’s when I started looking into it. What could be better than being a medical scribe for a doctor? Being a medical scribe for a medical scribe who also happens to be one of your friends and classmates!”
So far the transition has been smooth for everyone involved: the ER health care providers dictate to Bruckner who dictates to Penn who then charts everything. The process couldn’t be smoother.
“It’s been great,” Penn insisted. “I can’t wait until I burn out too, hire my own medical scribe, and then see how much the message has changed by the time my scribe writes it down. It’s just medical information anyway, how important can it be?”