Interpreting in Emergency Department Settings


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Guest: Ron Coronado, RN
Length:  64 minutes
Cost: $15.00 with "Basic" Membership  / Included with "Pro" Membership
Approved CEUs: ATA=1.000, CCHI=1.000, IMIA=0.100, WA-DSHS=0.000, RID=0.100 PS*
*Sign language interpreters requiring RID credit, must CLICK HERE to complete PINRA form BEFORE taking this activity.
Description: In this interview, registered nurse Ron Coronado describes the emergency department setting from triage to discharge. Practical tips for medical interpreters are provided for good communication, preparation, and managing dilemmas. Specialized terminology is reviewed and available in the corresponding online glossary. Ron Coronado, RN is a former Admissions Nurse at the Desert Regional Medical Center Emergency Department and is currently the Clinical Operations Specialist at Maxim Healthcare Services in Palm Springs, CA. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University has been a nurse in various settings since 1992.
  1. To understand the typical patient flow in an emergency department and the types of cases that are seen.
  2. To understand common dilemmas for interpreters in an emergency department and who to talk with to resolve them.
  3. To learn practical tips for preparing for emergency department assignments.

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22 thoughts on “Interpreting in Emergency Department Settings

  1. Thank you for making this interview available to us. It was enlightening to get the viewpoint of an ER nurse. It was also reassuring to know that the hospital staff considers us as part of the healthcare team, and they are there to offer us whatever support we need to keep us safe while we provide our interpreting services.

  2. Thank you for a great video. Working as an OPI interpreter, I missed some pieces of the whole picture about how ER works. This video helped to bring all pieces together and to make a whole amazing picture. Also, because I am planning to be a RN (so far, taking prerequisites for the nursing program) this video inspired me to think about being a RN in the ER.

  3. This video was an excellent introductory video.
    I would like to add a few things including what I call “the dance.” This is when a trauma arrives and is in the room. There will be several people in the emergency room calling out to each other moving closer and farther away from the patient as needed. During this time, the interpreter is doing “the dance” as the interpreter is moving in and out of the way (dancing) and then back again as close to the patient as possible. Its can be hard to hear the patient for various reasons so you try to get close.
    My suggestion are:
    Down the protective clothing upon arrival. Bunny suit, mask, etc.
    Move as close to the patient as possible. Behind the headboard if possible.
    Speak loudly so that both the patient and the staff can hear you over all the voices. Don’t be afraid to do this.
    Everything CANNOT be interpreted at the moment (e.g. the dr. calling order, meds to be given and how, nurses and RT person coordinating, the surgeons consulting etc.). I only interpret when the patient is spoken to directly. Simultaneously interpreting would be adding to the din and its impossible to interpret for 15 people speaking at once.
    Prompt the room nurse/Dr. to summarize what is going/happening as soon as its possible if it hasn’t been done.
    Be spatially aware as there will be lots of tubes and wires hanging off the bed and lying on the floor and changing locating from one moment to another.
    These are just a few practical suggestions.

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