Sometimes, when making a decision about where you want to go to school (or even what major you want to have), it can be helpful to see a list of course descriptions beforehand. In doing so, you can ascertain an idea of how difficult the classes will be and if you will be interested in your studies. If you are immediately bored or find the material too difficult, you may have a lesser chance of finishing the program and/or being successful later on in your career. To find an exact list of classes you will take, contact your future school of choice or trying searching the website. Below is a list of some examples of classes you might take.
In addition to being able to use a stenotype machine, you will also have to be proficient at typing on a standard keyboard. This is because you may need such skills in your professional life if you transcribe final documents from notes or copy down dialogue from audio recordings. Through such classes you might focus on gaining both speed and accuracy as well as mastering more difficult content. Work in this course might also include learning how to make editorial corrections, formatting documents, and formalizing work from stenotype notes.
Anatomy and Physiology
You may underestimate how important it is to have some knowledge of medical systems if you are to become a court reporter. Especially if you have a future transcribing medical records, meetings between doctors, or medical events or conferences, you will need to know about biology and medicine. You might learn about disease processes, health assessment, surgical procedures, the structure of the human body, immunology, the skeletal and muscular systems, the nervous and endocrine systems, the circulatory and reproductive systems, and the digestive and urinary systems. The class may also incorporate practice using stenotype machines with a focus on anatomy and physiology terminology.
Some schools may offer you the chance to learn about captioning in addition to traditional court reporting. You will learn how to use specific software and will study topics such as the captioning provider’s role, captioning preparation, dictionary building and management, discrete speaker labeling conventions, environmental descriptors, conference reporting, special punctuation, lecture preparation, and CART/Captioning equipment. There may be a lab component of the class that will require you to do research and complete individual projects that include captioning, realtime typing, or post-production. Through such projects you may learn about an array of subjects that will enhance your knowledge.
If you go to a longer court reporting program, you may be given the opportunity to participate in an internship, which will give you hands-on experience in your chosen field. You might work with a court system, for a freelance agency, or in a realtime setting. Your school may mandate specific requirements for completion of the internship, such as a minimum number of hours completing transcriptions or captioning, or a minimum number of pages produced as a result of work during the internship. Internships are typically completed toward the end of the program once you have built up a number of career-specific skills and are fairly proficient at using industry-specific equipment and typing machines.