Why It’s So Important To Have The Right Type Of Interpreter For Medical Appointments

Why It’s So Important To Have The Right Type Of Interpreter For Medical Appointments


When you’re not feeling well and need medical assistance, the last thing you want there to be is a language barrier between you and the doctor. Why?


Because it’s critical for doctors and nurses alike to get the right diagnosis so they can treat the patients properly. With all this in mind, you can imagine how frustrating it would be if your loved one were misdiagnosed or treated unfairly by someone who doesn’t know what’s best.


Interpreters help to ensure that communication between patients and doctors is clear and accurate


However, not all interpreters are created equal. 




You might wonder what the difference is between a medical interpreter and a regular interpreter, and why it’s so important to have someone who specifically knows medical jargon.


Medical interpreters are vital to the healthcare industry. They help create a bridge between patients and doctors who speak different languages by ensuring that people receive the proper care for their needs. 

How? Several ways.

A certified medical interpreter is:

  • Fluent in the primary language of a nation along with a second language.
  • Specifically trained in medical vocabulary and has comprehensive knowledge of medical treatment. They document the health issue, patient history, and family history as well as explain medical and surgical procedures and aftercare instructions.

A regular certified interpreter is fluent in a primary language along with a second language but does not have the additional training in medical terminology or knowledge of medical treatment. 

Could they provide interpretation? They could. But without the additional training, there could be some miscommunication leading to unforeseen circumstances and medical malpractice. Let’s face it neither the patient, family nor the doctors want this to happen!

That’s why it is always best to use the right interpreter for the right situation.  

Can you wing it and use a family member to translate? That’s a tough question. 


Technically, you could but it’s not really beneficial. Family members are fueled by their emotions and sometimes cannot be impartial because they simply want what’s best for their loved one. 


But if the person translating doesn’t understand any medical terminology or what exactly it is that the doctor is trying to say, this can cause additional stress on the patient and delays in treatment.


While there are some challenges that come with using interpreters in the medical field, it is evident that their benefits outweigh any potential drawbacks. 


When you consider how important communication is in the medical profession and the fact that misunderstandings can have deadly consequences, it becomes clear why so many providers are eager to use medical interpreters whenever possible. 


Looking for a certified medical interpreter? Contact us today!








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