Hospital Interpreter

The Need for a Hospital Interpreter

As the world changes and becomes more multicultural, the need for language interpreters increases. With a growing immigrant population, in addition to increased global travel, the chance for communication barriers grows.

Businesses may benefit their bottom line by hiring interpreters who can effectively communicate with foreign travelers and immigrants. Effective interpreters can mean the difference between a sale and no sale, in these cases. However, a skilled interpreter is even more vital in a hospital setting, where good communication between the staff and the patient can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

The Benefits of a Hospital Interpreter

A hospital interpreter can bridge the language barrier and make sure the staff and patient acquire all relevant information. She can translate questions and instructions to the patient and/or family members of the patient. The interpreter will also be able to relay the patient’s answers to the doctor or nurse. Knowing the patient’s level of pain, the type of pain, any other symptoms, and the history of illness, chronic medical conditions, in addition to any medications the patient is taking is important for giving the patient proper care.

Without an interpreter, hospital staff must rely on visual clues, blood work and diagnostic tests alone. While this may not be as serious of a problem in the case of minor illnesses, medical emergencies that require hospital care are another matter. Effective communication between the patient, or the patient’s family, and staff provides vital data.

Skilled hospital interpreters are also important when the patient is being discharged. A hospital translator can make certain the patient understands follow-up care instructions, as well as other information he may require after leaving the hospital setting.