Features of a Good Medical Interpreter

By | May 20, 2011

Medical interpreters are generally used in hospitals, doctor’s offices, courts, conferences and any other medical areas where the patient can’t speak the native language. Medical interpreting is a subset of public service interpreting, consisting of communication, among medical personnel, the patient and his or her family. A medical interpreter is a very important person in the hospital who’s role is to interpret the medical information so that the doctor is able to communicate important medical information to their patients. Medical interpreter works in real time settings with patients who do not know the country’s main language. Medical interpreter makes patients feel more comfortable and secure about their treatment. The effectiveness of the interpreter’s ability to communicate is essential to the health and safety of the patient.

Medical interpreter must have strong knowledge of medicine, common medical procedures, the patient interview, the medical examination processes, ethics, and the daily workings of the hospital because misinterpretation can have negative effect on the health of the patient. One of the important factor that a medical interpreter must posses is that he should have strong knowledge of the languages. He must also have good listening and speaking skills which are very important while interpreting. Medical interpreters should be specially trained in their target language and culture and also in medical terminology and procedure. Medical interpreters should not merely translate the words of the patients but they should also be able to communicate the feelings of the patients to the doctors. A basic understanding of the human needs and emotions along with strong sense of community service and participation are essential for providing the interpretation services.