In the courtroom, the court reporter may be silent most of the time, but she plays a crucial role in the American system of justice. By diligently recording every single word, including gestures, coughs, and other sounds, the court reporter provides irrefutable documentation of the interaction between key members of the case, which can sometimes mean the difference between an accurate verdict and a serious mistake. As a vital participant in the courtroom, the reporter must remain attentive at all times, and this can translate to a lot of stress, both physical and mental. In criminal cases that involve trauma, it can even create emotional stress for the individual. This is why court reporter training is essential for reporters to do the best job possible without excessive risk or damage to their health.
Court reporter training emphasizes a proactive approach to the stresses and frustrations of the job. Sitting in a chair all day and typing can create a host of physical issues from back pain and headaches to sore muscles and cramps, but there are simple actions that can minimize the risk. Having a comfortable, ergonomic chair is the first and foremost priority; an awkward, cushionless chair will exacerbate existing muscle pain issues and create new ones, so a chair with adequate cushioning and support is vital. Keeping your machine at the proper height is also important, because a machine that is too low will requires you to hunch forward, while a machine that is too high forces your arms to an uncomfortably high angle. Many reporters use a small footstool to support their feet and legs during the long hours of a trial, and it’s useful to keep one handy, even if you don’t use it all the time. A specially designed pillow that fits into the curve of your back is also a worthwhile investment that will help prevent slouching and other pain-inducing actions.
The happiest Court Reporters Maryland are ones that think ahead to potential workplace issues and take preventative action. Consider your workplace and the challenges that you face, and make a conscious decision to take care of yourself.