January 2, 2017

The Patients Appreciate Scribes

During my time as a scribe, I have received a great deal of positive feedback from patients and their families. This is not something that I expected when I first started, as scribes are not involved in direct patient care. However, sometimes it’s the small things that you do for others that make their experience in the emergency department a bit less stressful.

An elderly woman had been brought to the emergency department by her husband to be evaluated for a possible stroke. These situations can become stressful for families as well as hospital staff because timing is important when deciding the course of treatment. I remember this family in particular, because about 20 family members arrived in the emergency department to support their loved one. The patient’s room was close to the station I was working at, and I would smile at family members as they walked by. A group of them asked me how to get to the cafeteria, and I happily walked them there, not thinking much of it.

A bit later, the physician I was working with asked me to go back to the patient room with him to document a procedure. The patient and her husband were happy to see “the girl in the turquoise scrubs” again, as turquoise was the patient’s favorite color. After we were finished, we left the room and I went back to charting on my computer. Another hour later, one of the family members showed up with eight boxes of pizza for the staff that was working so hard to help their loved one. I felt so honored to be part of the team that made someone’s stay in the emergency department a bit easier, and they were all so grateful to see some smiling faces!