I’ve written about Scribes before, and I love ’em all.
I got an interesting email today that got me recommending my usual lament, that scribes “don’t get it” until they get ‘the buffer’, which I described as such:
[T]he one skill that makes a good scribe is a 2 to 3 sentence
brain buffer. That means, the ability to save in your head 2 or 3
whole sentences, then play it back to write down or act on.
Nearly everyone who starts wants to act on the first 6 words, starts
doing, and loses all that follows the first little bit.
So, there’s your key. Watch tv, listen to 3 sentences, mute the tv and
write them out. A little practice goes a long way.
I base this on watching 8 years of scribes train, progress, and move on, and my own personal experience as a medical student.
Repeat yourself enough as a practicing EM doc using scribes, and you notice when scribes ‘get it’, get that ability to hear everything you say and incorporate that into the record. And it’s the buffer that does it.
When I was in Med School I got that buffer, a life skill that serves me well to this day. We didn’t have a note service, or copies of the profs’ PowerPoints, we had paper, pens, and what we wrote down from the lecture. I wrote a lot, and fear of failure will stimulate the brain.
At my MS2 peak I had about a 5 sentence buffer, and I and my row-mates would be writing long after the lecture ended.
This ability to hear things and keep them in brain-RAM drove my then-new wife nuts; I could watch TV and ‘hear’ her, but when she would say “You didn’t hear a thing I said, did you…” I could very easily repeat her last sentence or two and answer her question. I still have some of it, though atrophy hits everything not exercised…
So, learn to listen, not just hear: there’s your key.