10 Tips for Success for Healthcare Newbies

By Kathleen Gardell Keyboard

As a child I longed to be a dancer. When deciding on a college major, I opted for dance. After an injury and many talks with my parents, I decided to switch majors and graduated with a degree in nutritional science with a dance minor. The path I’ve traveled to become a regional manager of our medical scribe program can be described as many things, but non-traditional would be the most accurate.

I spent a year traveling as a medical scribe for my company’s Site Support Team — a group of clinicians, scribes and support staff deployed to new client locations. Because I traveled to several different sites during this time, I became familiar with various ED sites and networked with a lot of medical directors, physicians, mid-levels and hospital administrators.

Through networking, I was presented with the opportunity to become a regional manager of the clinical information manger (CIM) department. This happened at the perfect time in my life. I was about to get married and knew that I soon wanted to put down roots and have a more regular schedule–although now I do have to admit that I do miss that random Tuesday or Thursday off that I would have with shift work.

I’m often asked by newly hired scribes what’s the best advice I can give them for succeeding in the position. It’s hard to narrow it down to one tip because I’ve learned a lot of lessons in the 10 years I’ve been in healthcare. Although my advice is not based on any proven theories, these are the top 10 things I’ve learned so far:

1. Know Yourself.

This sounds simple and straightforward enough. However, knowing yourself also means being able to recognize changes in yourself and then making informed decisions about your future based on those changes. For example, we are never the same person at the beginning of a journey that we are at the end. Being able to recognize what changed you and how will help you make better decisions about your future.

2. Pay Attention.

This means actively listen to your peers, your subordinates, and your superiors. Go into work every day with the intention of listening and learning. If you do, you’ll leave work every day having learned something new.

3. It is OK to Give Things Time.

This is even harder for those of us working in the fast-paced and hectic ED environment, but it’s important to remember that anything that’s worthwhile takes time. Mediocrity is often the result when things are done in haste; that which is worth doing at all is worth doing with time and consideration.

4. Plans are Made to be Broken.

Bumps in the road occur, and that’s OK. The real test will be to see how you react and recover from those inevitable bumps.

5. Don’t Worry, Be Happy

When you doubt your own ability, you are the only person standing in the way of your success. Self-doubt is very powerful, but it’s just a “feeling” that’s not based on any scientific facts or formulas. So silence any self-doubt you have before it consumes you. We are truly our toughest critics.

6. Set Goals Often.

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals, you may lack focus and direction. If you set goals and have a plan for achieving them, it’ll be easier to correct any missteps along the way.

7. Happiness Takes Work.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product,” and I have found this to be very true at work. If you demonstrate a great work ethic at a job you love, happiness will shine through in all you do.

8. Worry is Wasteful.

Worry about only the things that are in your control, the things that can be influenced and changed by your actions, not about the things that are beyond your capacity to direct or alter. This will save you many sleepless nights – and a few grey hairs, too.

9. No One Does Anything Alone.

True solo acts are rare. Most amazing feats in history were created and executed through the efforts of people who agreed to work together. So if you think that you can achieve all of your dreams on your own, you are mistaken. The more quickly you can admit that there will be a crowd of people cheering you on, opening doors, and working behind the scenes, the more quickly you will achieve success.

10. Passion Can Take You Where Talent Can’t.

I didn’t begin my scribe role as an outstanding talent among my peers, but I was passionate about doing the job well. I relied on my passion for hard work where my talent fell short, and this helped me tremendously. I’ve seen this to be the case as well with some of the best and brightest medical scribes that we’ve employed.

And let your passions lead you along some of those non-traditional paths; I still love to dance!

Kathleen Gardell is a Regional Manager for the Clinical Information Manager Department at Emergency Medical Associates, covering 10 emergency departments. She received a bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences with a concentration in dietetics from Montclair (N.J.) State University. Prior to being promoted into her current role, Gardell was one of two medical scribes on Emergency Medical Associates’ CIM Staffing Support Team. She also has served as a medical scribe at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, N.J., and Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, N.J.

Posted on April 10, 2014, in clinical process, emergency medicine, marketing, recruiting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Very nice article Kathleen. Great tips for everyone!

  2. Excellent post for rising scribes. Thank you!

  3. I blog quite often and I truly thank you for your information.
    The article has really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once a
    week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  4. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of
    your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

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