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Top Best Practices Working With Medical Interpreters

Here is a look at practices to get the best results for the patient by enabling the most effective medical translations.

1. Always use the interpreter rather than when in doubt

Every workplace is different, and if the hospital provides a medical interpreter, it is the responsibility of the physician to use the interpreter services.

Many times the health care provider overestimates his/her knowledge of the language and ends up trying to communicate with the patient. Typically this causes more confusion for the patient and his/her attendants.

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2. Get acquainted with the medical interpreter before meeting the patient

In most cases, the medical interpreter has an understanding of the culture that underlies the language. Meeting the interpreter before seeing the patient can help the healthcare provider understand a little about the culture which may dictate eating habits and other practices.

Armed with this information the medical practitioner can change the method of care to better suit the patient's' way of life. Also, this will help to avoid any misunderstanding with the patient.

3. Follow simple lines of communication

For best results in communication, it is advised to keep the language simple irrespective of how experienced the medical interpreter is. Simple communication will be the easiest to translate to the patient.

It is also recommended to ask short and straightforward questions when inquiring about symptoms. The above is the best way to ensure that the patient understands and responds correctly to questions asked.

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