The Willie Ramirez Case Study: Failed Communication and Tragic Results (FREE)

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Guest: Gail Price-Wise, President Florida Center for Cultural Competency
Length: 44 minutes
Cost:  Free
Approved CEUs: ATA=1.000, CCHI=0.750, IMIA=0.000, WA-DSHS=0.000, RID=0.075 PS*
*Sign language interpreters requiring RID credit, must CLICK HERE to complete PINRA form BEFORE taking this activity.
Description: Through a conversation about the historic Willie Ramirez malpractice case study, interpreters and healthcare providers can learn about ways to improve communication and cultural competency.
  1. Recognize differences within the same cultural group that can make communication ineffective.
  2. Learn about organizations that provide current oversight of language accommodation in hospitals.
  3. Understand responsibilities of healthcare organizations regarding appropriate medical interpreting.

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12 thoughts on “The Willie Ramirez Case Study: Failed Communication and Tragic Results (FREE)

  1. Very insightful. This case is a perfect example of what can go wrong if inadequate interpretation services are utilized in a medical setting. Let’s look to this example and strive to move away from these types of erroneous practices. Great video!

  2. I believe the video should be seen by all who work in the Health Care Industry because it shows how important it is to have a trained medical interpreter peresent in any department of a hospital or clinic. We as interpreters are there to help them with any barriers they may face when seeing a patient who has a language barrier and culture.

  3. This was very interesting and spot on to illustrate how crucial it is to have a knowledgeable interpreter. It isn’t necessary for interpreters to be walking encyclopedias, but it is necessary to develop the skills to identify those words that represent possibly problematic concepts and ask for clarification. One area that immediately comes to mind, although it might seem trivial, is the vast difference in the names of fruits, vegetables and other foods that can be found between the various Hispanic cultures. This is important because many cultures will resort to herbs and teas for medicinal purposes and it is necessary to be able to accurately relay to the health care provider exactly which herbal remedy or tea is used by the patient.

  4. Thank you for this insightful video/case. It’s tragic indeed, it was preventable but unfortunately the chain of events were just wrong from the beginning. I think, that still today we can see untrained people assuming the role of an interpreter. This is the time when things can go wrong. Training, learning, and knowing when to act can save a client’s life.

  5. This was such a helpful video, and it made me resolve to study even harder in my medical interpreter course. I really want to learn the various terms used by different latin-american counties for the same ailments. It’s kind of scary to think you might make a mistake.

  6. Thank you! This is a tragic, but excellent and insightful resource which shows clearly why we ought not to depend on families to provide accurate interpretation. More often than not, medical professionals are unaware of the vast difference one word can make. We should take patient communication as seriously as we do surgeries. In which case we would never think of handing the scalpel to a patient’s family member and ask them to assist the surgeon.

  7. There is a lot that we have to learn in order to be a good interpreter in healthcare.
    One of the most interesting and revealing things that Ms. Wise Price presented was the prejudice among latinos; that is the example of the Bolivian physician and Willie´s family.

    Excellent interview.

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