Language Barriers in Healthcare Can Create an Abundance of Issues When Professional Medical Interpretation Services Are Not Provided:

Healthcare workers are highly educated and extremely skilled in their field of expertise, so much so that people trust their lives and overall well being in their hands. Doctors and medical staff have gone through and completed many years of education, followed by tons of hands on experience; the preparation one must undergo in order to take on the responsibility of a person’s health and well-being is extensive, and rightfully so. It’s vital that medical workers are prepared, aware and confident in their tactics, methods and treatment plans as to provide optimal care to patients.

Communication is key in learning a patient’s symptoms and figuring out what the issue is. When communication can not take place, assumptions and guesswork become a factor which can tremendously affect the patients health and treatment options in a negative way. With so much emphasis placed on the education of healthcare workers, and communication being the biggest factor in allowing them to gather vital information; enlisting the aid of medical interpretation services only seems logical. Caring for a patient is a massive responsibility and when outside factors such as language barriers and cultural divides are thrown into the mix, the best plan of action is to enlist the aid of professional medical interpretation services.

Medical Interpretation is an Integral Part of Providing Optimal Patient Care:

When there is a language barrier present in a medical setting, medical interpretation services have the potential to act as an integral part of the interaction. Doctors care for and treat patients and interpreters allow that to happen by bridging the language gap. Communication must take place and it needs to take place accurately on all levels in order to properly administer treatment.

Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine says; “Health literacy is a two-way street, It’s not only the skills the patient brings to the clinical encounter, but the skills of the health-care provider and ability of the system to communicate health-care information.” “Students need to know how important the interpreter’s role is and how complex when it comes to facilitating patient-provider communication.”

For example, she says, “think about communicating risk. It’s a fairly complex concept. When you’re counseling patients about cancer treatment or other treatments, we expect people to understand the concept of risk and make life decisions based upon the information provided to them. Communicating the concepts is just as important as communicating the vocabulary. Health literacy is also dependent on cultural factors,” Kurtz-Rossi says. There are times when health-care concepts and vocabulary literally don’t translate. “For example, in Navajo there is no word for chemotherapy,” says Kurtz-Rossi. “If you’re working with an interpreter, not only the word, but the whole concept has to be explained.”

Medical Interpretation Services Break Down Linguistic and Cultural Divides:

Cultural and Linguistic Obstacles Faced During Medical Interpretation; Part 2 will discuss just how professional medical interpretation services work to breakdown language and cultural barriers faced in medical settings. Part 2 will also discuss how your healthcare facility can gain access to highly trained and experienced medical interpreters who are well versed in difficult medical terminology and have the knowledge to deal with cultural obstacles that can be faced in medical scenarios. Learn just how important the role of medical interpretation plays in breaking down barriers in order for proper healthcare to be provided.

Niki’s Int’l Ltd. is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise with 20 years of language service experience. A global network of highly skilled interpreters and translators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for on-site, telephonic and video remote interpretation services. Our linguists are available in over 350 languages and dialects, and our network includes certified interpreters and translators. Our work is guaranteed with a $1 Million Errors & Omissions policy, so that you can be confident that your project will be completed with the highest level of quality and professionalism within the field. For more information contact us at 1-877-567-8449 or visit our website at

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