Why do we need a professional interpreter in a hospital?
- Firstly, a trip to the doctor can be intimidating when we are sick and the situation gets even worse, when we cannot tell what we experience and how we are reacting to a treatment. It is an incapable feeling of not being able to tell your nurse and doctor exactly what you feel.
For this, you need another mouth and that is exactly what a medical interpreter will do for you. They listen to whatever the patients and their relatives speak and communicate the same to the hospital staff.
- Secondly, an interpreter is one who clears out any sort of misunderstandings and lack of knowledge between both the patient and the doctor and medical staff. They will be able to explain the causes, symptoms and after effects of any physical problem, disease and also the treatment in simple language.
- Thirdly, you need a professional and well trained interpreter and not just any self learned interpreter. For example, suppose you are an Arab interpreter , you do need to know Arabic and English and also should be trained to understand medical terms, names of medicines, symptoms, treatments and various kinds of surgeries.
This way you can speak to people who only know Arabic, and still you can explain clearly of what has happened to the patient and describe the type of treatment performed on them. Similarly you can talk to the doctor about the patient’s feelings, pain, and their anguishing thoughts and so on.
The more communication, the pathway is free of problems, and confusions between the doctor, the nurse and the patient. A better understanding of the possibilities of improvement and effects of medicines, the costs of treatments can give the patient a clear view of making decisions within the parameters laid out by the hospital. Effective communication between the interpreter and patient and also modify the type of treatment used for each patient.
- Fourthly, a hospital professionally trained interpreter will be assisting the patient and their relatives from the start- which means from a simple consultation, to get admissions, to get referred and get new appointments with other specialist doctors, purchase the right medicines and also know about the procedure of treatment, even the food that can be consumed. Additional help like getting insurance coverage, talking to banks are also preformed if the need arises.
- Last benefit that a patient and doctor can avail from an interpreter is that, apart from knowledge of medical terminology, they will also have knowledge about the local cultures, beliefs and traditions of the each patient. So that helps them to communicate in a better manner and make the patient feel much more relaxed.
For example, every country has their share of home remedies for small physical discomforts and only once the situation worsens, people approach doctors. So, a good interpreter who knows about this home remedy can explain to the doctor what treatment was taken prior to the doctor’s visit.
What is the future of medical interpreters?
It is definitely on the rise. As long as the immigrant population keeps flowing into English speaking countries in the hope for a better and secured life, the world will need the help and care from a professional medical interpreter.