Grand Valley State University’s Scribe Academy creates a segue for students working towards being in a healthcare profession by bridging the gap between educational resources and hands-on experience.
The program provides in-person and online healthcare courses that will earn them certificate of completion, allowing students a fast-track to work for local and surrounding healthcare providers at their own pace.
GVSU junior, Madisen Baliko, recently completed the Scribe Academy program and now works at Michigan Pain Consultants. Baliko said she joined the program to gain more experience related to her degree.
“I initially was rejected from the radiation therapy program the first time I applied and was told that I needed more healthcare experience,” Baliko said.
Although the program provides many opportunities, it does require a high level of attention to detail and time management skills.
“The only thing I wish I would have known prior to entering the program is the true workload,” Baliko said. “I knew this was a demanding program and required a lot of attention, but I didn’t fully grasp the material until I was in the program. On top of regular homework, I also needed to study the scribe materials and it definitely took some time to adjust my schedule.”
Now working for a local healthcare provider, Baliko is one of countless individuals that continue to experience the effects of the shortage in healthcare workers in a field with a demand that continues to rise.
“My original plan was not pain management,” Baliko said. “(However), due to clinical sites falling through, I needed to pick a different route and I am so glad I did. Just like anything else, adjusting to working while being a student was difficult. However, my manager at Helix (Scribe Solutions) is super flexible and willing to make adjustments to my schedule in order to fit in my classes.”
With any demanding program comes challenges that can be difficult to overcome, but Baliko said she knows her decision to push through the adversity set her up for success in her career field.
“Doing the GVSU scribe program was a life changing experience,” Baliko said. “Going from the classroom, to clinical, to actually working in the field was such a great experience. Everyone is so welcoming and made sure I understood everything before I moved on to work by myself. This program is very demanding, some may say hard, but is extremely doable if you commit to it.”
Part-time positions are available to all students at scribe locations that work with Helix Scribe, including primary care, neurosurgery and orthopedics.
Another student that committed to the university and Helix Scribe programs has continued to experience success in his career path.
Alejandro Leon graduated from GVSU in 2019 with a degree in biomedical sciences and is currently working as an associate scribe at Helix Scribe.
“I was on the fence about going to PA (physician assistants) school versus medical school,” Leon said. “After hearing about the GVSU Scribe Academy program and the opportunity to work alongside both PAs and physicians, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to solidify which career path would be more suitable for me.
Leon said the program opened new doors for him.
“I cannot express how many opportunities going through the program and working for Helix have offered me,” Leon said. “It can be incredibly useful for those who may not have the resources or connections to those in the healthcare field. For example, getting letters of recommendation, shadowing opportunities and research opportunities.”
Leon works in the emergency department, orthopedic offices and trains new scribe students for Helix Scribe.
“As someone who enjoys teaching, I cannot be more grateful for my experience of working in a fast-paced environment such as the emergency department while also simultaneously training new scribes,” Leon said. “Due to the nature of emergency medicine, we are exposed to many different specialties in medicine, therefore, there are so many learning opportunities for both seasoned and new scribes. Having the ability to learn something new with each solo shift and with each training shift kept scribing fresh and exciting for me.”
The GVSU Scribe Academy program currently has open enrollment to all students that are second-semester freshmen and higher that wish to apply.