Medical interpreting – how should we handle this sensitive issue?

A visit to the doctors or the hospital can be worrying enough, but what happens if you don’t speak good English?            

For a normal appointment, the health service will generally supply a medical interpreter, but not every visit is covered this way.

If you’ve had an accident for example and are being assessed for possible compensation this may be done in the private medical system, where no interpreter is provided.

You might be in a foreign country on holiday or on business where no support is offered.

An assessment of health for work purposes may be scheduled where an interpreter would be required.

Your religious or personal preferences might require an interpreter of a particular gender or culture, which is not guaranteed by the normal system.

There are many instances when you might want to book an external interpreter to assist with the smooth running and efficient exchange of information in a medical appointment.

Things to ensure when booking an interpreter:

  • Your interpreter is suitably qualified – this may mean NRPSI or a medical qualification
  • Your interpreter has suitable experience in a medical support setting
  • Your interpreter speaks the right language / dialect to ensure clear understanding
  • Your interpreter understands the reason for the appointment and what you are looking to get from it
  • You have a choice of male / female and cultural background if appropriate
  • Your interpreter can arrive 10 – 15 minutes early to make sure they are present from the start of the appointment and have a few minutes to talk through any issues you may wish to raise
  • Your interpreter understands the issues of confidentiality and works in a professional manner

If you need support for a medical assessment or appointment, get in touch now on 0844 856 1085 to find out how we can assist.

Website –  | Twitter – @MTTUK

Check out this blog post and more on the Midland Technical Translations website!

Posted by the Pogofilms team | Written by @MTTUK

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