Work effectively with healthcare interpreters

1.       Choose a professional certified healthcare interpreter and become familiar with the code of ethics

·         By reviewing the code of ethics, you will better understand the scope of their work and the interpreting process

·         Our library has a variety of codes of ethics for your perusal


2.       Discuss the process and become acquainted with your interpreter

·         Each interpreter’s skill level is different; you can speak with others with the full knowledge that the interpreter is relaying the information simultaneously

·         Depending on the interpreter’s expertise, you may need to pause after every sentence or every paragraph for consecutive interpreting

·         The interpreter manages the communication flow so all parties may have meaningful conversations


3.       Cognitive fatigue

·         Any intense exercise requires breaks and recovery time; interpreting (especially simultaneous) exerts intense mental exercise and requires breaks

·         Being considerate of an interpreter’s cognitive fatigue will enable him to provide the very best and accurate rendition possible


4.       Respect the scope of work

·         Interpreters should never explain things the patient doesn’t understand or share personal opinions; that is the job of the healthcare professional

·         Please do not ask them to persuade a patient

·         Whatever is stated will be interpreted; do not say something to the interpreter that you do not want the other party to hear

·         Look at and speak directly to the patient, not the interpreter

·         Speak clearly and enunciate; the interpreter cannot render what is not heard

Alfonso's Language & Safety Blog

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *