“I’ve been interpreting in hospitals for 20 years. I don’t need training!” As the owner of a language agency, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that claim. Perhaps you have even said it yourself. For me, that statement is a RED FLAG: an interpreter with this attitude is at the top of my list for urgent training!
“Why does a medical interpreter with so much experience need training?,” you may be wondering. I’m so glad you asked! Here are a few reasons:
EVERYONE needs training including novice interpreters, veteran interpreters, and interpreter trainers! I have yet to meet a medical interpreter who knew everything, especially when there is ALWAYS something new to learn in the rapidly advancing field of healthcare!
Share your thoughts about other reasons that medical interpreters need training in the Comments section of this post.
Read more posts in this series:
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About the author:
Michelle A. Scott is a bilingual Registered Nurse and Medical Sociologist who founded Voices For Health, Inc. in 1997. She advocates for raising the standards of language accommodation in healthcare through conference lectures, professional leadership and development of video content for VoicesACADEMY.com.
Tags: code of ethics, medical interpreter training, standards of practice
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As a community interpreter and a medical interpreter, I will strongly say a medical interpreter need training for the big raison that, you will have to work in an nother world where Nurses and Doctors use medical terminology as a language in their job.That could be very difficult to the medical interpreter to render accurately and completely the messages between the Patient and the doctor if you do not have been trained in medical interpreter.
The consequences can be very dangerous
1.can train the Doctor with bad diagnosis and wrong traitement.
2.can expose the patient’s life , sometimes can cause to death.
Healthcare interpreting is changing and interpreters are not just interpreters anymore. There is so much at stake with every medical interpreting encounter: language proficiency, medical terminology, cultural competency, advocacy, ethics, standards, integrity, intellectual, social and emotional intelligence, good judgement, professionalism,…among others. This all requires training. I believe medical interpreter training is very vital and every interpreter has to go through this kind of training. Don’t think you know it all. The time you stop learning is the time you stop advancing.