medical interpreter

The Importance of Medical Interpreters in Healthcare

In a healthcare setting, it is vitally important that a doctor is able to effectively communicate with his or her patients.  When a patient has limited English-speaking abilities, it makes it very difficult for a doctor to provide the best possible care.  The services of a medical interpreter can help open the lines of communication and ensure that patients receive the care they are entitled to.

What Medical Interpreters Do

The purpose of a medical interpreter is to facilitate the communication between a health care provider and a patient who does not speak the same language.  Their services can used in hospitals, physician’s offices, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes or mental health clinics.  Their role consists of listening to the doctor or health care provider and translating the information into the native language of the patient in terms they can understand.  After listening to the patient’s response, the medical interpreter will translate it back to the professional using proper medical terms.

Why Medical Interpreters Are So Important

There are many reasons that the services of an interpreter would benefit a medical facility and its patients.  First, doctors need to completely understand a patient’s medical history and current symptoms in order to accurately provide treatment, but a language barrier can prevent the proper exchange of information between doctor and patient.   Additionally, medical terminology is often complex, and patients without a thorough mastery of the English language can have difficulties understanding critical information concerning their diagnosis, treatment options, care instructions or drug information.

Proper Qualifications of a Medical Interpreter

Metaphrasis understands that the quality of an interpreter makes a significant difference in the service that is provided.   Our interpreters have years of medical experience so they understand medical terms and can accurately relate information between providers and patients, in over 35 foreign languages.  But more than that, they also have a thorough understanding of the culture and context and can convey the true meaning behind the words. Contact us online or at 815-464-1423 to learn more about the difference a medical interpreter can make in effective patient care.


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