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Medical Scribe Interview Questions

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  1. Can you tell me a little about your typing skills? See answer
  2. What sort of additional training are you interested in pursuing in the medical field? See answer
  3. How would you react if a patient vomited on you while you were attempting to record the patient’s interaction with a doctor? See answer
  4. How familiar are you with the spellings and pronunciations of medical terminology? See answer
  5. What would you do if your supervisor noticed a mistake in the notes you were taking? See answer
  6. What’s your process for admitting a new patient to the healthcare facility and preparing them for their first appointment?
  7. Do you have any experience using shorthand?
  8. What skills do you believe an impressive medical scribe should have?
  9. 9 How would you handle the loss of a patient while you were on the job?
  10. Tell me about a time when HIPAA laws affected your work duties. How did you handle the situation?
  11. Which healthcare software solutions do you have experience using?
  12. What would you do if your computer system crashed while you were taking important notes for a physician?
  13. What type of relationship do you believe a physician and medical scribe should maintain?
  14. Tell me about a time when you realized you made a significant error when taking notes for a doctor. How did you fix the problem?
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6 Medical Scribe Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Can you tell me a little about your typing skills?

A:

One of the most fundamental skills to look for in a medical scribe is the ability to quickly and accurately input data. This question is fairly open-ended, so it’s more informative than simply asking about the candidate’s average typing speed. Your applicant’s response will be a good gauge of their own self-perception of this essential skill, and it’s an opportunity to learn more about their experience handling the often menial and repetitive nature of the work day in and day out. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to type quickly and accurately
  • Experience typing for long periods
  • Confidence when talking about typing skills

Example:

“I took a touch typing course in high school, and over the years, I’ve increased my typing speed to about 70 words per minute.”

Q:

What sort of additional training are you interested in pursuing in the medical field?

A:

This question helps you to figure out whether the candidate is committed to being a medical scribe as a career path or just using the job as a stepping stone to another field. Some background in medicine or an interest in the field does make someone a better scribe, but it’s also important to find someone who demonstrates an interest in a long-term commitment to your agency and will not leave to start medical school or another career in a few short months. What to look for in an answer:

  • Interest in medical education or some related background experience
  • No immediate plans to begin a new educational endeavor incompatible with the hours needed
  • Desire for a long-term commitment to your agency

Example:

“I do plan to go to medical school eventually, but currently, my main focus is just working in a medical environment.”

Q:

How would you react if a patient vomited on you while you were attempting to record the patient’s interaction with a doctor?

A:

Medical scribes are often tasked with day-to-day duties that come from the unpredictable nature of what may at first seem to be a routine job. This question allows you to understand how the medical scribe might behave when thrown into an unexpected real-world situation. Their answer can tell you a little about how committed they are to the job and their ability to provide a caring environment for a patient. If they’re a typist experienced in another professional setting but new to the medical field, this question will help both of you determine if the candidate may struggle in a clinical environment. What to look for in an answer:

  • Unfazed by sometimes unpleasant medical symptoms
  • Ability to stay calm in unpredictable situations
  • Capacity to maintain focus during distractions

Example:

“I would reassure the patient that it’s no big deal, then ask someone else to take over scribe duties while I went to change my clothes.”

Q:

How familiar are you with the spellings and pronunciations of medical terminology?

A:

This is an important question because professional medical scribes do a better job of notating accurately if they understand the context of what they’re hearing and seeing. You can ask about the candidate’s past experiences that have taught them about medical terminology and use this question to quiz them about some common terms they should know. Including this question in an interview will help you find a scribe capable of accurate transcription. What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of relevant medical knowledge
  • Familiarity with and understanding of most common medical terms
  • Prompt and confident responses that demonstrate comfort with medical terminology

Example:

“I’ve been a medical assistant for a few years, so I’m comfortable using medical terminology, especially terms used to discuss infectious diseases and medical procedures.”

Q:

What would you do if your supervisor noticed a mistake in the notes you were taking?

A:

You can use this question to assess how well the scribe does with supervision. Most scribes will be working directly with a doctor, and you need to make sure your potential hire will respond well to instructions or criticism. Asking a question that involves the candidate making a mistake helps you see whether they focus on work or get distracted by interpersonal interactions throughout the day. What to look for in an answer:

  • Gracefully listens to criticism with an eye for personal improvement and growth
  • Desire to perform scribe work accurately
  • Willingness to work on a team and take direction

Example:

“I try to learn from my mistakes, so I’d thank the supervisor for telling me. Then, I’d correct it and write a note so that I’m less likely to make that particular error again.”

Q:

What's your process for admitting a new patient to the healthcare facility and preparing them for their first appointment?

A:

Many medical scribes are responsible for intaking new patients and recording their medical history before their first appointment. This ensures the physician has all of the details needed to provide the patient with quality care. The ideal candidate should have experience working with patients and should have an idea of the right questions to ask to gain necessary patient history and other medical information.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Experience interacting with and admitting new patients
  • Clear process for gaining necessary patient medical history for the physician
  • Advanced customer service and communication abilities

An answer to this question could look like this:

Example:

"The first action I take when admitting a new patient is to politely greet them and ask why they're visiting. Usually, my additional questions will relate to their visit, so I can gain more specific details for the physician. This can include symptoms, how long they've been experiencing these symptoms, if they have any family history related to this illness or injury and if they have any previous medical conditions. From there, I'd confirm their name and date of birth. Finally, I'd ask if they want the physician to check on any other illness or discomfort they're currently feeling."

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