Every now and then I’ll get a LONG list of questions from prospective students. I LOVE THESE. I really do. I love them because they let me know where I’m falling short with making information available here on the website. I haven’t posted one of these in a while, and the last one was pretty short.
So here’s the latest Q&A list!
How feasible is it to do this work very part time (as in, 10-15 hours/week at most)? Do you feel lack of availability is a turnoff for a lot of potential clients?
You take on only as much work as you want or that you can handle. I do have many students who successfully get the number of clients they want even with a full-time job and children at home. See Student Success Stories on the site. See also: How flexible is proofreading work?
What is the average turnaround time that your clients expect?
Regular turnaround is usually 2-3 business days.
How do you take time off with clients you use on a routine basis? (or do you typically bring your work on vacation?
I tell them 7-10 days ahead of time when I’m leaving and I shoot them an e-mail when I’m back 🙂 I don’t work on vacation usually, unless I’m doing a lot of road or air travel, then I’ll let them know I’ll be doing work on the road/plane.
I’m hoping my medical background and medical terminology knowledge (and my Master’s in Nursing!) will be an asset—are there ways of finding court reporters that typically work on medical malpractice or cases that would utilize this skill, or do all court reporters have the potential to be needed on medical cases?
All court reporters run into medical from time to time. Your background would be a great asset. Some reporters do more medical than others. It’s great to advertise you’re well versed in it!
Do your students receive feedback as they’re going through the course to know whether they are succeeding or needing more work in certain areas, etc.?
You know exactly how you are doing each time you complete a practice transcript (PT). The first PT is the worst — it’s just a really hard job, but I did it that way on purpose. You get better and better with each one. By the last one, and there are 50 of them, you’ll see just how far you’ve come. The key is to take your time; don’t rush. If you rush because you’re anxious to make money, it’ll show in your quality and it’ll end up coming back to bite you.
There’s also the Module 5 Quiz + the Exam Transcript which are both graded by a human and include personalized feedback. The Facebook group for students is also a wonderful opportunity to get your questions answered quickly.
Have you ever worked for a court reporter that required SO many edits you felt your money earned was not worth the hassle? Can you fire them or charge more for extremely high numbers of edits or time spent?
There’s a lesson in the course that goes over how to handle “firing” clients and/or charging more for dirty work. In a nutshell, you need to communicate ahead of time with clients that you don’t accept dirty work. If you find they don’t respect your guidelines and it becomes a problem, feel free to sever ties.
Is it recommended that students get their iPad right away upon starting the course or can the course be completed easily from a desktop/laptop and the iPad purchased later for use with actual clients?
Modules 1 and 2 do not require an iPad. Modules 3 and 4 get into the iPad tutorials, and Module 5 is practice transcripts. Part of doing the practice transcripts is learning how to mark up in the way you’d be doing it for real clients, so I absolutely recommend getting an iPad at least before starting on the practice transcripts.