Interpreters in the Medical Profession

Interpreters in the Medical Profession
                                                              Debra L. Reed
                                                          Rasmussen College

                                ENC1101 English Composition
                                                Larkin Corvin
                                                May 21, 2010

                                                Interpreters in the Medical Profession
Who would you want translating for you in a medical emergency?   Although it is becoming more commonplace to have in-house translators, not all medical facilities have them.   Some hospitals still rely on relatives or bilingual staff but may have an interpreter on call.   Not having an interpreter on call affects not only the doctors and patients but loved ones as well.   Considering the cultural diversity of the population in the United States, trained interpreters must be used rather than relying on medical staff and family members who might be unreliable or inaccessible and may leave out important information needed for a correct diagnosis.  
When trained interpreters are not available, bilingual staff and family members may be called upon to translate.   The chances that miscommunication will occur have now increased by using untrained, and therefore, unreliable translators.   Since a correct diagnosis relies on accurate information, which might include personal and sensitive issues, it is critical that all information is relayed to the physician.   If a family member is translating, the patient or the family member may be too embarrassed to relay that information to medical staff.   In the some Asian cultures, they avoid embarrassment so as not to “lose face.”   This includes embarrassment for others.   Dignity and self esteem must be maintained.  
This point is illustrated when a nurse was explaining to a Filipino patient, using the patient’s husband as a translator, about her medication.   The couple...