Medical experience helps, but it’s not required up front. In the course, I have students read medical, heavy legal (hearings), all kinds of stuff. Any legal or medical term you don’t know, you can look up. iAnnotate has a nifty feature that allows you to Google by just highlighting any term you’re unfamiliar with so you can check its meaning and spelling. The key is knowing it could be misspelled and having the sense to stop real quick and check. Usually it’s pretty obvious it might be misspelled, because I’m familiar with Latin roots and other parts of words. I read them slowly to make sure they make sense — words like discectomy, symptomatology … the list goes on! Sooner or later they will become familiar to you, too.
I didn’t have any experience when I first started. Google and the dictionary (built in on iAnnotate) are my best friends 😉
I know it’s not necessary to have medical experience to proofread for court reporters, but what if you do? Is it any easier to get jobs, or are there any other niches that actually prefer people with medical experience? I’m a RN who is looking to use my knowledge and skills in other arenas aside from bedside nursing. I have a knack for spotting errors everywhere I look on a daily basis, and I love the idea of working from home as well.
Court reporters LOVE people with prior experience with medical terminology. A lot of legal proceedings include expert witnesses, many of which are doctors. I often see CRs looking for people with specific medical terminology experience for this reason and a lot of people just can’t accommodate, so it’s definitely a great asset to have. 🙂