medical interpretation

Examples From the Field:

Professional medical interpretation services aid in breaking down linguistic barriers that impede the ability to communicate. When a medical interpreter is not provided massive mistakes can take place due to poor communication and misunderstandings.

Example 1:

In 2010, Francisco Torres was at California’s Riverside Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center where he was preparing for a surgery that was scheduled to remove his diseased kidney. Hospital staff directed the Spanish speaking patient to sign a consent form that stated which kidney was to be removed. Mr. Torres signed the English only consent form, unaware that the form stated the wrong kidney was to be removed. There was never any access to a professional medical interpreter and no forms were provided in Spanish. After the healthy kidney was removed, the hospital caught the mistake and removed the diseased kidney as well, leaving Mr. Torres with no kidneys. The Health Department cited the hospital for errors leading up to the surgery, including failing to follow safety protocol and failing to communicate accurately with the Spanish speaking patient.

Example 2:

In 2015, Sandra George who is a Macedonian speaker with a limited ability to speak English went to the doctor to have a tumour on her vestibular nerve checked out. During the first appointment she brought a friend along to interpret for her. Sandra George left the appointment believing that her tumour was malignant, however, it in fact was not. Regardless of the fact that a professional Macedonian interpreter was provided for future medical appointments, Ms. George continued to believe that the tumour was cancerous. During the surgery, one of the surgeons accidentally severed Ms. George’s facial nerve resulting in palsy on one side of her face. Imagine the irony felt when the realization was made that the tumour was never cancerous. This particular incident highlights the vital importance of using a professional medical interpreter. Using an unqualified friend or family member to interpret medical information is not a good idea and can result in detrimental outcomes.

Example 3:

After being hit in the head with a tennis racquet, a 17 year old girl who was originally from Taiwan but was living in California went to the hospital due to a developing brain abscess. She acted as an interpreter for her parents in the hospital until she went into respiratory arrest. Interpreters later noted, “Not only was the minor daughter acting as the interpreter for her parents, she was also interpreting complex medical terminology, and the life-threatening conditions she was communicating were her own.” The young lady did not receive treatment for her abscess in a timely manner and as a result she died.

Avoid Medical Interpretation Errors By Enlisting the Aid of a Professional Language Service Company (LSC):

Professional medical interpretation services save lives, allow for accurate communication to take place and improve the quality of patient care that is being provided. There is no substitute for the facilitation of accurate communication, without it, healthcare can not properly be provided to patients. Partnering with a reputable language service company (LSC) allows you access to a network of highly trained and experienced medical interpreters who have the ability to break down linguistic barriers in the most stressful situations. Don’t allow non-English speaking patients to be put at risk of receiving poor healthcare due to a language barrier. If you’re looking for a qualified medical interpreter than contact Niki’s Int’l Ltd., a language service company with over 20 years of experience in the language service industry. Choose from over 350 languages and dialects that will surely enable you to communicate seamlessly with patients in their native language. Medical interpretation services provide accuracy and understanding for all parties involved in the exchange. Ensure optimal care is provided to all patients regardless of the language they speak with the provision of professional medical interpretation services.  

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 www.nilservices.com.

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