I jolt awake to the sound of my alarm going off. As I blearily stare at my screen, I groan at the fact that 04:45 seems to be the time. The only reason I know that’s AM and not PM is because my phone has been set on military time since I became a scribe – it helps when I’m charting late at night and apparently can’t do math.
As I stare around me, it takes a second to remember where I am and why I’m required to be up before the sun even makes an appearance. Oh yeah, I have a shift today. I've been working a lot recently, but I hold on to the fact that my trainee is on-track and the providers are really enjoying scribes.
One thing that no one tells you when you CTS is the fact that you will never again be "A&Ox3" (especially at 6 AM). I find myself competing with the 80 y.o. patient who presents with AMS. I know where I am (the hospital, duh) and what city (okay, usually) but when the provider asks the patient what day of the week it is, I always have to pause and think way too hard about the answer.
While at work, I find myself looking over at the other trainers who are scattered around the ED with their trainees. In one corner is a trainee that a couple of trainers had given up on, but it only took a little TLC and some ongoing support for her to start to succeed. My trainee is starting to go into patient rooms solo, which gives me anxiety but is also very exciting. It’s toward the end of this implementation and, as I see a mix of CTS’s and newly graduated scribes, I remember why being a CTS can be so rewarding. We help create a project from the ground-up and help it succeed.
Finally, 14:00 rolls around and I am free for the rest of the day. Yes, I’m exhausted, but do I go to the hotel and sleep? Nope. That’s the thing about CTSing - I sleep occasionally but am usually off looking for something fun to do in whatever city I’ve found myself. At 14:30, I’ve changed into hiking clothes, met up with some of the other trainers, and we are off to find adventures – whether it’s a hiking trail, a quiet lake, or some accidental off-roading – and to grab a little sun before heading back for another trainee, another shift, and another early wake-up call.
Hannah Norton is currently a Lead Trainer on the Cherokee - Northside Hospital project. She started as a scribe on the Oklahoma City - St. Anthony's team almost 3 years ago and worked as a trainer and Chief Scribe until June 2014. She then began traveling as a CTS and has served on 5 different projects around the country. In her free time, she enjoys exploring hiking trails and going on new adventures in whatever city she finds herself. In 2014, Hannah was awarded "CTS of The Year" by PhysAssist's corporate leadership.
Interested in sharing your scribe or CTS story? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on the blog!