What Does a Hospital Interpreter Do?
Are you fluent in a foreign language? Do you want to help non-English speakers understand their diagnoses and help medical personnel understand their patients concerns? If so, read on to find out what a hospital interpreter does. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Hospital Interpreter Defined
As a hospital interpreter, you would translate information provided by medical personnel at a hospital into a language understood by the patient you are working with. To perform this job, you'll need to be fluent in at least one language other than English, and you'll need to understand medical terminology. Having a conversational knowledge of a foreign language with the ability to communicate in regional dialects is helpful to a hospital interpreter.
A hospital interpreter does not have to be a medical professional. However, knowing how to translate specific medical terminology to patients is required if you want to enter the field. Some medical interpreters gain their expertise through academic degree or certificate programs offered by colleges and universities.
Communicate with Patients
You main duty as a hospital interpreter is to manage the flow of communication between a doctor or other hospital employee and a patient. Your first task is to build trust with the patient. You will discuss any concerns the patient has with your translating, and position yourself either between the patient and the physician or next to one or the other. As you interpret, you will retain the vocal inflections of both parties, while accurately translating their words.
Convert Medical Forms and Materials
Many medical insurance and permission forms are available in other languages. As a hospital interpreter, you are responsible for translating the often confusing paperwork that patients must sign before treatments and procedures.
Communicate with Health Professionals
Hospital interpreters need to be able to be an effective liaison between patients and doctors or nurses. You must be able to develop good relationships with physicians of many specialties so they will feel confident that you will communicate their views to the patient correctly. Communicating with nurses is essential since patients have much more interaction with the nursing staff.
Communicate with Administrative Personnel
There's a lot of paperwork to fill out while entering and leaving the hospital. Most of these forms are in English. You'll interpret insurance forms, prescription information and other important papers given to a non-English speaking patient while in the hospital.
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