8 Communication via a Language Interpreter
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Media 8.1 Cultural Sensitivity Scene 2 Positive [Video]. CC BY-NC-SA 2021. Conestoga College.
- Describe the key elements of utilizing Language Interpreter Services.
- Explore the diverse range of communication modalities language interpreters provide.
- Communicate clearly as part of a team while providing exemplary customer service to persons who speak another language.
- Develop an awareness of when, why and how to utilize language interpreters.
In any health care setting, the clients will reflect the community where you work. The world is becoming more diverse due to the ability to travel, explore and settle. Thus clients may speak other languages. Many countries have policies, laws or standards for providing excellent customer service. As an employee, it is essential to abide and be in compliance with the company’s practice (Schenker et al., 2011).
This chapter will explain the why who, what, where and how to use a language interpreter service.
Assessing What You Already Know
A professional language is a gold standard when communicating with a person who speaks another language than the provider. The use of the interpreter has resulted in improved health outcomes.
Language Interpreter Services
Why use an Interpreter Service?
As per chapter seven, there are many different expectations and health beliefs given the diversity of the clients. English is often not the clients’ first language. When clients are stressed, as with a health crisis, they may revert to their first language. Not only is the language more accessible for them to have two-way communications, but it may also provide comfort to speak with someone who speaks their language (Brandl et al., 2020).
Who Should Utilize an Interpreter Service?
During an initial interaction, it is important to determine the client’s level of . The use of signage in different languages may assist with determining if the client is not verbalizing due to a language barrier or an . At this time, nodding and pointing may assist with communication during the initial assessment.
When it is determined that the client speaks another language, contact a professional interpreter. is a principal foundation of any health care interaction. Thus, friends or family members should not interpret the private and personal health information between a provider and client. Customer Service best practices assert utilizing a professional interpreter service to obtain and share accurate health information. If you are allowed to use a Professional Interpreter and choose not to, you might be held liable for resulting damages in a court of law.
What is The Interpreter’s Professional Role?
For this text, the two languages would include English and another language. An interpreter is tested for understanding and in both languages by their agency. They must abide by a strict code of and to policies and privacy laws. Their role is to remain and and stay true to the actual message, as close as the languages will allow. Most Language interpreter Services have their employees pass a criminal reference check to ensureand . Many organizations hire language interpreter services for all employees to . It is essential to know how to access the service.
How to Use an Interpreter Service While on the Telephone
Many initial health care interactions begin on the telephone. When a client calls the office, and they do not speak your language, for this text, the language is English, the client or someone else may tell you the language and they speak. No confidential health care information has been exchanged, therefore speaking with a friend or family member to arrange an interpreter adheres to privacy laws. If the client requests to schedule an appointment, then there is time to schedule an interpreter. However, if the client requests to discuss their situation over the telephone, the following actions can be followed. First, explain to the client that you are getting an interpreter and ask them to hold (Kester et al., 2021).
As the Health Care administrator, you will already be aware of the Language Interpreter Services offered by your institution.
The first step to accessing services is to Contact the service and request a professional who is in the clients’ language. This may take a few minutes. Record the Interpreters name and ID number for the client’s chart. Explain to the interpreter that the client is on the telephone and requesting service and then add the interpreter to the client call, introduce the interpreter and their role. The HCA will need to allow time for the client to hear, process and respond to the interpreter. The interpreter may seek of some medical terms and remember you will take turns speaking. Finally, at the end of the call, clarify the conversation and thank the interpreter.
Remember, English may not be the client’s first language. However, they may understand English yet may not feel comfortable speaking English. Again, further to the interpreters’ skills.
How to Use an Interpreter Service In-person
If the client has scheduled an appointment for health care services, it will allow the administrator more time to book the interpreter. There may not be time to prepare in settings such as the emergency department or a drop-in clinic. If there is time to book the interpreter, the interpreter can provide their services over a speakerphone in a private area, where others cannot hear the exchange (Kester et al., 2021).
In-person use of the interpreter service
- Contact the service and request a professional who is in the clients’ language. This may take a few minutes. Record the Interpreters name and ID number for the client’s chart.
- Explain to the client that a professional language interpreter will be at the appointment in person or be on a phone call to interpret.
- Provide the interpreter with the date and time of the client’s appointment
- At the appointment, introduce the interpreter and their role.
- Whether the interaction is with the administrator or another health care professional, allow/schedule time for the client to hear, process and respond to the interpreter.
- The interpreter may seek of some medical terms.
- You will take turns speaking.
- At the end of the appointment, clarify the conversation and thank the interpreter.
Remember, English may not be the client’s first language. However, they may understand English yet may not feel comfortable speaking English. Again, further rationale to utilize the interpreters’ skills.
|Incorporate the first person i.e. How are you? Versus “ask them how they are?”||Assume the interpreter understands all medical terminology|
|Limit facial expressions||Use gestures|
|Remain facing the client||Do not look at the interpreter|
|Pace your speech appropriately||Refrain from using figures of speech and cultural references|
|Schedule extra time for the interaction||Eliminate vague expressions and words with double meanings|
|Ask one question at a time||Do not fidget or get distracted: focus on the client (see chapter two for body language)|
|words and speak slowly and|
|Encourage requests for clarification|
|Respect the role of the interpreter|
|Remain present for all communication|
When utilizing a professional language interpreter, the HCA should create a level of comfort for the client. This can be done by using a professional language interpreter to ensure confidential and accurate translation to the client. Professional Interpreters are bound by ethics and confidentiality laws. HCA should know the process to schedule an interpreter for a client visit. HCA should always direct the communication to the client and not the interpretor.
Check Your Understanding
In this chapter you have:
- Described the key elements of utilizing Language Interpreter Services.
- Explored the diverse range of communication modalities language interpreters provide.
- Communicated clearly as part of a team while providing exemplary customer service to persons who speak another language.
- Developed an awareness of when, why and how to utilize language interpreters.
: The quality of being easy to obtain or use, easily understood, or appreciated.
: To maintain loyalty (Merriam Webster, n.d).
: Can be heard.
: Features that describe an individual.
: To understand an idea.
: The state of keeping or being kept secret or private.
: A regional variety of language distinguished by vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation from other regional types and constituting a single language (Merriam Webster, n.d).
: To understand words that are being used.
: To pronounce words clearly so they are understandable.
: A set of rules.
: The act of mastering an idea and being comfortable with it.
: Diminishment or loss of a function (Merriam Webster, n.d).
: The act of not being biased and treating everyone and everything equally.
: Not being enough.
: A person who interprets, especially one who translates speech orally (Merriam-Webster, n.d).
: A specific style that an individual should act and speak.
: The state of being free from public attention.
: Explanation of controlling principles, such as practice, belief, opinion, or phenomena (Merriam Webster, n.d).
: The act of dependency you have on an individual.
: Not being fair.
: To use/ take advantage of.
: The words individuals use to get a message across.
Brandl, E. J., Schreiter, S., & Schouler-Ocak, M. (2020). Are trained medical interpreters worth the cost? A review of the current literature on cost and cost-effectiveness. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 22(1), 175-181. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-019-00915-4
Kester, E., Palafox,P., Langdon, P., & Cheng, L., (2021). Cultural and Language Considerations for Working with Interpreters. Collaborating with interpreters and translators. Eau Claire, WI: Thinking Publications.
Schenker, Y., Pérez-Stable, E. J., Nickleach, D., & Karliner, L. S. (2011). Patterns of interpreter use for hospitalized patients with limited English proficiency. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(7), 712-717. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-010-1619-z
Assessing What You Already Know (Text-based Activity)
Have you ever tried to communicate with someone who speaks a different language than you do? To explain yourself, did you: (select all that apply)
- Use symbols
- Speak louder
- Get frustrated
- Draw a picture
- Use hand signs
Solution. While initially, when communicating with a person who speaks another language you may feel frustrated and speak louder to the client, this is not the best option. To communicate effectively, the health care administrator could utilize other tools such as symbols, pictures and use of hand signals.
Sometimes people who may not speak the dominant language well feel most comfortable bringing a family member to interpret for them. Sometimes this may even be a child. What might be the reason that a family member and especially children may not be a good interpreter. (Select all that apply)
- The family member especially children may find the health care news upsetting and may not translate word-for-word what is being said
- Privacy violations may happen if we are not completely sure we have the client’s expressed consent for disclosure of private health information
- The family member may not understand the medical terms and therefore not explain correctly.
Solution. The correct response is option one, two and three. The Health care administrator cannot verify if the information is correct when a family member interprets. As well, this is a PHIPA violation. Return to Activity
Check your Understanding (Text-based Activity)
The language interpreter will
- Be able to understand and speak the client’s language and dialect.
- Is bound by confidentiality clauses/agreements
- May ask for clarification
Solution. The correct response is option one, two and three. The language interpreter must be able to understand and speak the client’s language and dialect. They are bound by strict confidentiality agreements and follow PHIPA. At times the conversation may last longer as the interpreter may ask for clarification. Return to Activity
The quality of being easy to obtain or use, easily understood, or appreciated.
A person who interprets, especially one who translates speech orally (Merriam Webster, n.d).
A specific style that an individual should act and speak.
The words individuals use to get a message across.
Regression or loss of mobility (Merriam Webster, n.d).
The state of keeping or being kept secret or private.
To understand words that are being used.
A set of rules.
To maintain loyalty (Merriam Webster, n.d).
The act of not being biased and treating everyone and everything equally.
Not being fair.
Features that describe an individual.
The act of dependency you have on an individual.
To use/ take advantage of.
A language distinguished by vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation using other regional types and creating a single language (Merriam Webster, n.d).
The act of mastering an idea and being comfortable with it.
To understand an idea.
Explanation of controlling principles, such as practice, belief, opinion, or phenomena (Merriam Webster, n.d).
Not being enough.
To pronounce words clearly so they are understandable.
Can be heard.
The state of being free from public attention.