As far as medical interpretation is concerned, one may believe it’s just hearing and interpretation a word into another vocabulary that is required, no, the medical field is too technical when it comes to providing interpretation providers for doctors and patients mainly because it’s all about dealing with lives and the health of individuals. There is too much care needed when interpreting medical jargons, terminologies into a target language.
The main Causes of Medical Errors
Let’s discover and discuss the major causes of medical errors during the interpretations by the healthcare interpreters.
Cultural beliefs and custom; most cultures are too complicated which usually impacts medical service delivery such communities, so to deliver medical solutions in such a community you must ensure you get medical translators and interpreters who can adhere to the cultural beliefs and rules in that community because they will be knowing how to deal with their cultural beliefs. Some culture and beliefs do not allow women to conduct speeches in public; whenever operating a medical clinic within a particular community, you must get to know just how their cultural beliefs and norm are such that it becomes easier to offer interpreting services, failure to do that you may make mistakes that may end up causing medical errors in the medical interpretation.
Using family members as translators and interpreters, this is also too dangerous, due to fear of paying for professional medical interpreters or translators, medical services providers might resort to using the patient’s loved ones or the patient’s caretakers who might be fluent in English to provide healthcare interpretation, as we all know that being fluent in English is not enough for somebody to be a medical translator associated with interpreter, because of the technicality of healthcare terminologies, a caretaker can’t accurately interpret medical terminologies due to lack of knowledge about it, let’s assume you have no knowledge in the medical field, and you are given to interpret, the doctor mentions the statement that you’ve never heard of in life, can you manage to understand that statement and interpret into a layman language?
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Use of clinicians who have the basic foreign language skills to communicate with patients and doctors instead of qualified medical interpreters, healthcare services providers might resort to make use of of clinician who may have a little information in a particular language understood by patient. Medical interpretations need progressive native speaking medical interpreters and translators of the respective language in order to be accurate, but because a clinician who is a Japanese speaker understands some little French is provided to act as an interpreter between the doctor and the French-speaking patient, there is no way that interpretation will be free from misinterpretation of some words.
Areas where medical errors may occur
Medical mistakes are always common in medical places like;
᾿ Admission forms
᾿ Patient discharge reports
᾿ Healthcare reconciliation
᾿ Emergency department trips and surgical care
Possible methods to avoid medical errors in healthcare interpretation
To avoid medical errors, medical service providers should focus on strengthening specialist interpretation services, doctors and patients should be able to communicate and understand one another, they should also provide already translated components in several foreign languages for the targeted users, cultural awareness and advocacy, improving medical staff training and etc.
The use of the patient’s specific identity, this will help to ensure that the medical interpreter is given the right medical info for the respective patient for model. If any mistake happens that different information about the medical medications is interpreted for a different patient, medical errors have to occur; hence the medical history of the patient bearing the name of the patient, admission date, is necessary since it includes the medicine prescribed for the patient.
Avoiding medical mistakes in the interpretation process is partly the role of the patient, a patient is supposed to present all the previous medical reports, including all the drugs that were used, this can help the doctor to know what next step to opted if a specific medicine didn’t work, otherwise a doctor may give back the same medication doctor prescribed which during the process of interpretation, processed in exact format and meaning. In addition to that a patient should also be careful and observant to know which drugs can problems to his/her health. This particular basically letting the informed in regards to the medicines that the patient is sensitive to because, during the interpretation procedure, the interpreter’s work is to speak what the doctor mentions.
Medical mistakes can be avoided if the doctor’s prescriptions to the patient can clearly become understood by the interpreter, hence the interpreter should be sharp, attentive as well as a good listener when the doctor can be talking to the patient, this can make the interpretation accurate and successful with any minor error that may cause difficulties to the patient’s life.