medical interpreting helps doctors

3 Signs of Good Medical Interpreting

When you or a family member is ill, you don’t want to go to a subpar hospital or doctor. If you or a family member is sick and needs interpreting services, then it’s equally important to have great medical interpreting and medical translation services. Having good communication with your caregivers means you can participate more fully in your treatment and understand care instructions better. You can also ensure that your medical history, current life circumstances, and anything else that may affect treatment is properly communicated and considered. So how do you ensure that you pick a high quality medical interpreter for your needs? Here are 3 signs that you can trust the professional you’ve hired.

Accurate Medical Interpreting and Great Listening Skills

You need your medical interpreter to be great at hearing you. That means they’re patient and never interrupt. Good medical interpreters with excellent listening skills will also have no trouble patiently repeating back to you what they hear you or your caregivers say. They may even do it as a habit, ensuring they completely understand your points. This isn’t always a skill that’s taught in medical interpreter training. In fact, it’s more like a personal quality. Either somebody is good at active listening, or they’re not!

Medical Interpreting and Cultural Sensitivity

Even if your medical interpreter has gone to the best medical interpreter course and kept their skills fresh with the best medical interpreter training, they can still be terrible at their jobs. Bad medical interpreters might speak the language perfectly and be a pro at simultaneous interpreting, but they lack cultural awareness. Because culture shapes so much of how we experience the world, it will certainly affect the way both patients and medical providers experience medical challenges and illnesses. For instance, in Mexican culture, mental illness and developmental issues are highly stigmatized in a way they aren’t in the US. A culturally-savvy medical interpreter will already know any cultural factors like this and help to gracefully bridge the divide between the medical care provider and patient/their family.

Your medical interpreter is emotionally resilient and even-keeled under pressure

Again, this is something that isn’t really taught in medical interpretation programs. A Medical Interpreting Certification will give professionals the basic communication skills and medical knowledge base to bridge the gap between patient and caregiver. However, it can’t prepare them emotionally for how taxing these situations can be. If the patient and/or their family are receiving particularly difficult news, or perhaps the patient is in extreme pain, emotions may be running high. The doctor or patient may even, unfortunately, take some of this frustration out on the interpreter or translator!  A good medical interpreter will stay calm and focus on their job. They can do this even if people are yelling at them or they feel empathy for the patient and/or their loved ones. Good medical interpreters will separate any emotion from their goal: creating the best communication possible between the patient and medical caregiver.

About Language Connections:

Language Connections is a language service provider. We specialize in technical, medical and legal translation, simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, website and software localization, and corporate language programs and interpreter training. We provide certified, professional translation in 100+ languages including SpanishPortugueseArabicChinese, RussianGerman, and French. With over 20 years of experience, we have expertise in all major industries including the life sciences, patent and immigration law, international business, global education, and advanced technology. We offer cost-efficient interpreting and conference solutions that will meet your multilingual needs for all types of international events – business meetings, conferences, lectures or presentations.

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Language Connections Inc.
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Boston, MA 02135
Phone: +1-617-731-3510
Email: service@languageconnections.com

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