Role of Interpreters and Translators in Medical Field

With the improving condition of global economy, the trend of travelling to different countries for pleasure and business is on constant rise. But majority of people, who travel abroad have a limited ability, when it comes to converse in the language that is recognized throughout that country. Such people face serious problems while seeking medical help in a far-flung country.
Physicians as well as other medical staff find it difficult to understand the exact problem of the patient. But these issues of improper communication can be easily resolved by translation and interpretation. Majority of people take it for granted that as soon as they approach a hospital or doctor and explain their ailment and related symptoms, an appropriate line of treatment would be immediately prescribed.
But things are not that simple. Communication plays a very important role in such situations. There may arise some unexpected complications if the patient or his attendant fails to describe the specific trouble along with the symptoms that are being experienced by the patient. The entire situation can become worst in the case of emergencies.
Not all the clinics and hospitals employ a trained language translator for translating the conversation of the patient. The hospital or clinics that are not equipped with experienced translators and language interpreters might fail to give an appropriate treatment because of the lack of communication between the patient and the doctors. The hospitals and clinics must go for only trained and experienced translators an interpreters as a slightest mistake can lead to some serious consequences. A variety of medical mistakes can take place because of the errors in interpretation. Untrained interpreters and translators are far more likely to commit mistakes that can result in some severe implications regarding the treatment outcome. A trained interpreter or translator will never miss out any important piece of information. He/she will convey the exact information without adding his/her opinion to it. He/she will not add or replace any word/ phrase from the patient's conversation. Medical mistakes can turn out to be pretty expensive. Medical translation makes sure that no such mistakes are committed because of improper communication. Almost all the reputed hospitals and clinics employ trained translators and interpreters for the convenience of their patients.

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Is there any special qualification for medical translators? 3/19/2011 Mariusz Wolos
Actually yes there is one I know but this is not mandatory.... Check out the University of California medical interpreter program. 5/18/2011 Agnes T-H
My other comment is what is written in this comment is pretty dangerous; Can you tell me HOW translators and interpreters would acquire ANY experience if the ONLY ones that are being hired are experienced ones? I have quite often seen some experienced translators thinking that their experience could allow them to cross the hurdle of medical translation......Deadly mistake. Working in the medical field for years, I can assure you that I have read things in some translations, that made me think "OMG I really hope they have a VERY good professional insurance" The ONLY way to have qualified medical translators making as little mistakes as possible is chosing them among people that are understanding what is going on on a strict medical point of view. This implies making sure the translator has a SUPERIOR medical degree (MD, NP, Clinical Research Associate,etc...)and actually worked in both languages. That is to say not less than a medical 4 years degree. No self proclamed bilingual nurse assistant, PA, and others two years medical degrees... And worse, no experienced linguist who thinks "I will make it" just because they were good in Biology in high-school. Medical translator might imply a resume with some medical degree FIRST. 5/18/2011 Agnes T-H


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