5 Medical Interpreter Training Tips You May Not Have Considered
In a medical situation, it’s important to always be able to provide the best interpreting service that you can to ensure the well-being of the patient.
As a professional medical interpreter you should be aware of medical terminology and practices. These are of course the main topics you will be discussing in a medical visit. However, there are more things to be aware of that you might not have considered. Luckily we have medical interpreter tips for just that:
1. Be very aware of the cultural differences – between the patient and that of the country where they are receiving treatment. It will make conversations with the doctor clearer and easier if the doctor is aware of the cultural differences.
2. Be familiar with colloquialisms – People often relate their ailments metaphorically: "My head was pounding" for example is a way to describe a terrible headache. If you come across a colloquial way to describe something and you aren't familiar with it, it could lead to confusion and valuable time spent clarifying a single point.
3. Get some medical training. You will be working in a medical setting after all, having some basic knowledge that might allow you to help nurses or doctors in an extreme situation can’t hurt!
4. Be genuine and social. Get to know the patient you will be working with if you can. Knowing a person’s name and a little about their background can begin to build a relationship, and in a setting as stressful as a medical one, a good relationship with the interpreter might ease the patient’s mind. That being said, you should do the same with the medical staff.
5. Stay calm. Ability to remain calm under pressure and apply sound judgment is the key to your success. At the end of the day of all the medical interpreter tips the most important is to remain calm and accurately transmit the message from the patient to the doctor and vice versa.
Sometimes it’s difficult to remain professional every hour of the day, but it gets easier when you make professionalism a habit. Focus on your own performance and you’ll start to see the rewards of your hard work.
Get the necessary, in person training in order to become a competent professional interpreter. Register now for one of our interpreter training programs: Medical Interpreter Training, Legal Interpreter Training or Community & Business Interpreter Training.
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