6 Must-Have Skills of a Medical Interpreter

Remember in one of the episodes of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, how a doctor couldn’t understand what a non-English speaking Chinese patient was trying to say about her condition? This is a regular situation in most of the hospitals and many medical practices are delayed or stalled due to lack of professional translators and interpreters. The importance of medical interpreters is gaining momentum due to the growing number of expats and non-English speaking natives in the US. So these are the skills one must consider before hiring a medical interpreter or translator.

  1. Good linguistic abilities: Strong command of multiple languages is a must. For instance, if an interpreter is dealing with a Japanese patient for a hospital in the US, then that professional must be an expert in both English and Japanese linguistic skills. If a medical interpreter has the linguistic prowess of two or more foreign languages then higher are their chances to prosper in this field.
  2. Good knowledge of medical terms: Understanding the complex medical jargons involves a long haul and a good interpreter must hold their aces in learning these. This makes it much easier to understand what the doctors are trying to say and convey it to the patients in a layman’s language. This is possible only through rigorous training and practical experiences. They should have the interest to attend healthcare seminars and conferences to expand their knowledge and use it whenever required.
  3. Save the hospital’s time:A medical interpreter bridges the communication gap between the doctor and patient. This not only standardizes the medical procedure but also saves a lot of a hospital’s invaluable time.
  4. Familiar with the code of ethics: There is a host of code of ethics and instructions in the field of medical interpretation. A good interpreter will stringently adhere to the interpreter’s code of ethics. They will also have their background checked by the police and have proper medical clearance.
  5. Cultural empathy: As a medical interpreter represents on behalf of the hospital they must also be receptive to the cultural sensibilities and handle the patients with care and empathy. If they are aware of the local practices then it will be easier for them to communicate with the patients.
  6. Patience: This is an inbred quality and one needs to imbibe this all the more with experience. A professional interpreter needs to be a good listener to both the parties and deal with them patiently.

Also read: Why Professional Interpreters Important for Businesses

Are you looking for professional medical interpreters to streamline the communication pursuits for your healthcare organization? Multilanguage Services provides professional language interpretation services in Dearborn, Detroit, Farmington Hills, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Novi, Sterling Heights, Warren MI and surrounding Areas. Click here to submit a free quote.

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