Nurses are an important part of the healthcare team. The primary role of a nurse is to provide patient care and to work closely with the physician in administering treatment to the patient. A nurse may also assume yet another crucial role beyond the bedside. Wondering what? Well, the nurse can take the role of a scribe. Yes, the nurse in the role of the scribe has become a viable option in many physician practices. But imagine nurses staring at their screens and checking boxes in the EMR. Won’t it impact the quality of bedside care? Well, what if they had someone to help them with the paperwork so that they could focus on providing direct patient care? It is here nurse scribes come to assistance.

Need for nurse scribes

Well, today’s nurses are seen spending more time charting and reviewing information in the EHR. This can result in more time spent in front of the computer screens and less time on direct care delivery at the patient’s bedside. In fact, studies have shown that nurses spend less than 2 hours of a 12-hour shift time on patient care. Studies also report that nurses spend a substantial amount of time on delegable and non-nursing tasks that detract them from their core role of providing direct patient care.  It is here the need for the services of nurse scribes pop in. By providing clinical documentation support, they relieve nurses of the burden of many monotonous and repetitive clerical tasks.

What do nurse scribes do?

Nurse scribes are highly trained to use the EMR system to streamline workflow and improve the quality of patient care. A qualified nurse scribe is a great addition to the care team, as they help relieve the burden of documentation while improving the quality of care and the work-life balance of the nurses. Although nurses are a critical part of the healthcare system, hospitals are experiencing a staffing crisis as a result of burnout and exhaustion. A nurse scribe is an ideal solution to bridge the care gap between the nurse and patient, improve job satisfaction, and ultimately patient care.

How does a nurse scribe help?

Generally, a registered nurse scribe works alongside a medical practitioner, helping with documenting the patient encounters in real-time into the EHR. In addition to this, they may also provide general nursing care to the patients consistent with the established standards. They also administer medications and treatments in accordance with nursing standards. Best of all, nurse scribes not only free up the physician’s time to provide better patient care, but physicians are also able to include the nurse in the patient’s care. This is of great help with telephone triage and follow-ups, as the nurse is now part of the care team rather than just a scribe.

Providers do well with scribes, so do the nurses. Are you a registered nurse under pressure to perfect your documentation skills? Do you feel that you spend more time on documentation than actually providing bedside care? Nurse scribes come to your rescue. They help ease your documentation overload and free up time to focus on what you were trained to do – provide bedside care.

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