Generation Z: Who They Are and Why They’ll Make Great Medical Scribes

The future looks bright for Generation Z! Especially those pursuing a medical career. The emerging field of medical scribing bridges technology and patient care, and allows young medical professionals to get firsthand experience alongside practicing physicians in a variety of specialties. Scribes are in high demand, which is good news for the 61 million members of Generation Z.

In fact, in the next few years, they’ll make up 20 percent of the workforce. When asked to name the industries Gen Zers are most interested in, technology-related professions were most popular (45 percent), and healthcare ranked at 14 percent.

Naturally, a field that incorporates both healthcare and technology would be a great fit for this generation. New to the healthcare industry, medical scribes are highly trained in medical documentation to assist healthcare providers throughout a patient encounter. Successful medical scribes are good communicators, fast learners, and career-driven. Since this role is ideal for recent grads pursuing a medical profession, it’s well-timed for members of Gen Z about to graduate college.

Here’s some insight into what sets this generation apart, and how medical scribing fits their personalities and lifestyles.

Gen Z Wants Work Ethic and Stability

While Millennials love the gig economy, research shows Gen Z prefers steady paychecks. They view college as not only an experience but as an investment. Gen Z is much more pragmatic and a lot more prepared, a worldview they’re likely to carry with them as they start their careers.

Elite Academy And Gen Z Are A Great Match!

Members of Generation Z don’t envision starting at the top, but rather recognize the training it takes to get there. This quality makes them ideal for medical scribe roles because medical scribe training with Elite Academy and getting real world experience in a clinical setting will set them on a path that helps both their test scores and their resume.

Seventy-seven percent of Gen Zers believe they will need to work harder compared to those in past generations to have a satisfying and fulfilling professional life. This is good news in the scribe field, where ambitious learners can get a head start on building relationships with healthcare providers, and set the course for success in medicine.

What Makes Gen Z Tick?

But don’t try to impress this generation with fancy job titles. In recent research on Gen Zers, the opportunity for career growth was the most commonly cited career priority, with 64 percent of respondents ranking it among their top three. A prestigious job title was only cited as a priority by three percent.

Plus, size and stability are professional priorities for this generation. When you think about the uncertainty that has shaped their young lives – school shootings, terrorism, the financial crisis – it’s no surprise they’re looking for security from the start of their careers. While millennials crave open-concept startups and the freelance way of life, 41 percent of Gen Zers described midsize organizations as the ideal work environment, followed by large organizations (38 percent). And good news for Gen Zers — Several hospitals and health systems are listed on Forbes’ list of Best Midsize Employers, many of whom utilize medical scribes across departments.

The Most Connected Generation

When communicating with Gen Zers, it’s best to be fast, engaging, and authentic. They’re used to the immediacy of social media, and they look for images to convey a message. Does this mean integrating emojis (the image-based, “native” language of many Gen Zers) into future Electronic Medical Records? Perhaps.

They’ve never known life without the internet, so when it comes to information-seeking, members of Gen Z are by far the most tech savvy, connected and self-educated group. And while it may be tempting to think Gen Zers prefer to communicate screen-to-screen, the truth is that 74 percent prefer to communicate face-to-face with their co-workers.

Relationship Oriented

This generation seeks to connect with mentors and peers, and to establish an ongoing feedback loop versus a formal performance review. While in Elite Academy, medical scribe trainees receive real-time feedback on their charting and documentation notes to ensure progress, comprehension and mastery of skills. Throughout the duration of their career, Elite certified medical scribes undergo regular reviews and assessments, while completing numerous continuing education programs and completing certifications to maintain the highest levels of performance. This satisfies the Gen Zers’ desire for straightforward communication and their preference to be in control of their career trajectory.

Work Fulfilment

But for many Gen Zers, work has a deeper meaning. When you look at the next generation entering the workforce, “they have an underlying desire to shape where they work; to make a contribution, to see that the role they play has a direct tie to a benefit in society,” says Jim Link, chief human resources officer with Randstad North America.

Part of embracing their roles means being open to inspiration from higher-ups, says Link. “They like to be tied in directly with leaders. They’re looking for a leader who is communicative and able to share mission, vision, and values. It’s important for this generation to see how these fundamentals tie in with the work that they’re doing, and with the work of the organization as a whole.”

This concept of making a direct tie to society resonates with medical scribes because their role is essential to improving patient care and relieving physician burnout. The number of patients that clinicians see each day is on the rise, leaving them little time to complete documentation, billing, and coding requirements. Having access to medical scribes frees up a physician’s time and allows them to focus on providing the better patient care, and at the same time, the scribes can observe and learn from the physician-patient interactions.

Gen Z Craves Meaningful Mentorships

In a recent survey, when asked where they saw themselves in five years, more than half of Gen Z respondents said that they expect to either be in management or working their way toward a managerial role. Generation Z will be looking to their bosses to help provide development, training and inspiration.

Being born into the digital age means that Gen Zers exist in a state of near-constant learning, overloaded with information. Their mentors need to teach them about prioritizing and contextualizing. Generation Z may also need to learn some general life skills.

Though it’s true that Generation Z workers may be the most tech-savvy generation, they’re more likely to need coaching in soft skills than some of their predecessors. Gen Z professionals are full of potential, but these young adults need support in harnessing their enthusiasm to address real-world employment situations, such as the need to communicate more formally in certain situations, dealing with stress, and staying positive when things go wrong. Employers can close the gap on these skills by embracing Gen Zers’ interest in collaborating with team members.

Most of those surveyed said they prefer to collaborate with small teams in an office, rather than work off-site either independently or as part of a virtual team; respondents also said they prefer face-to-face communication versus emails or texts. These qualities are well-suited to a medical scribe, whose presence in a clinical setting is essential in completely daily tasks smoothly and efficiently.

Gen Z Offers Balance Between the Veterans and New Comers

Plus, the clinical setting allows scribes to work with members of different generations with a variety of experience levels. The benefit of being paired with more seasoned team members means Gen Z employees can learn by example and develop better soft skills. However, employers should emphasize mutual respect among all employees, as Gen Zers do have concerns about being viewed as “kids.” Employers should also be aware of clashing work styles and communication styles between generations. According to Robert Half, forty-five percent of Gen Zers cited potential challenges working with baby boomers, compared to 17 percent who anticipate difficulties with Gen X and five percent with Gen Yers.

When accounting for the many benefits of being a medical scribe, it’s clear that this is a field well-suited for the new generation entering the workforce. As Hannah Blystone, scribe trainer of Generation Zers explains: “Working as a scribe is a really good stepping stone for someone who wants to work in healthcare. You see the intricacies of a health system and you make important connections with doctors and nurses. I can definitely say that because of this position I feel more confident in my decision to pursue a career in nursing, and that this experience will make me a better nurse.”

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