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Writing Steno - Questions and Answers

Dear Nancy:  I have been a court reporter for nine years and I feel that my speed is slower than when I first started. I was wondering if you had any tips on how to improve my speed. Should I listen to tapes again?
Signed, Kristen

Dear Kristen:  Yes! Okay, that was too short an answer. I think a lot of reporters feel this way, and it's my opinion that it's the filtering that we do on the job that creates that feeling of lost speed. We have to filter out overlapping speakers, decipher mumbles, and anticipate a change after a false start. All of that makes us feel as if we're constantly struggling to keep up.

I spoke with my husband Ed about this -- you know, that speed champion guy? He too says he feels like his speed is slower on the job than it used to be. And he agrees that the filtering has an effect on his keeping up. His advice? Put on some practice tapes. Nothing too hard. Try some RPR tests. That will tell you whether you've lost speed or not. If you have, yes, do some speed practice. You ought to be able to get that RPR speed back pretty quickly. If not, and you're struggling with some of the vocabulary, do some theory review, and then practice some difficult material at slower speeds. Brush up on how to write the tough words.

And if you want some help, I can work with you in a one-on-one professional coaching session and put together a prioritized list of what to work on in your writing, and what to do first. Lots of reporters have benefited from that time. So give it a whirl!

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Dear Nancy:  I'm a court reporting student, and a court reporter recently shared with me some of her favorite "medical" outlines. I decided to send some on to you. Hope your readers like these and send in some of their own to share with us.
Signed, Student Steve and his Stunning Steno

Dear Student Steve and His Stunning Steno:  First, I'm so happy to hear you are a student. Graduates are so very much in demand. Please work hard and be the best reporter you can be. And let me know if you need a mentor along the way. Thanks for sharing the outlines. I will post them here.

MERT for Medical Center, but when a name is in front of it, drop the M and add a new first letter.
Examples:

  FERT Fairlane Medical Center  
  KWERT Quincy Medical Center  

Final PT for hospital and combine it with the appropriate first letter.
Examples:

  MEPT Memorial Hospital  
  MERPT Mercy Hospital  
  KHIPT Children's Hospital  
  JEPT General Hospital  

Some terminology:

  SLOUND ultrasound  
  PRA practice  
  PRAR practitioner  
  NRAR nurse practitioner  
  PRAOENL prenatal  
  G*OB OB/GYN  
  ZAERN cesarean  
  ZAERBGS cesarean section  
  LAED labor and delivery  
  PRIBGS pediatrics  
  STRIBGS obstetrics  
  DLAOM delivery room  
  PRAOM operating room  
  KMAO carcinoma  
  SMAO sarcoma  

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