Phrases of Courtesy in Nine languages:
A tool for medical providers
By Benji Perin, MD Candidate (2015), University of Washington School of Medicine
In the provider-patient relationship, the path to positive health outcomes begins with a human connection. Developing rapport lays the foundation for each successive stage of the visit — from agenda setting and gathering information, to sharing information and involving patients in creating their treatment plans.
Language barriers make each one of these steps more difficult. Professional interpreters play a crucial role in helping providers and patients communicate, but the important work of making a connection still falls to the caregiver.
The goal of this tool is to provide a jumping-off point for developing rapport in the interpreted health encounter. Using phrases of courtesy in a patient's own language shows interest and respect, allows at least a few moments of direct connection between patient and provider, and hopefully sends the conversation for a brief sojourn into social waters with the interpreter as navigator. This language learning tool features videos of native speakers saying phrases of courtesy in nine languages. These phrases of greeting, introduction, acknowledgment, departure and for emergency situations in a clinical setting can be played at a normal speed and at a slow speed. Making a connection in this way is not just courtesy, but lays the foundation for the highest standard of care, a standard we wish to see extended to all patients, regardless of their English proficiency. Read more...
Multimedia Patient Education Highlight: Cancer
EthnoMed and Healthy Roads Media, in collaboration with the Community House Calls Program at Harborview and its community partners, produced a series of handouts and Flash video slideshows in seven languages (Amharic, English, Khmer, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya and Vietnamese) that provide introductory information about several topics: biopsy procedures, cancer chemotherapy, prostate cancer and surgeries for breast cancer.
Cancer education was identified by the Community House Calls staff as a major area of need for EthnoMed content development. The program's Caseworker / Cultural Mediators (CCMs) served as advisors and narrators, community members provided linguistic/cultural input, and health care providers gave clinical input to develop the new education materials. The project also supports CCMs in utilizing iPads for delivering health education to patients and community groups.
The new materials are available for web viewing via both the EthnoMed and Healthy Roads Media websites. Healthy Roads Media is also hosting mobile video formats and an online survey to gather feedback for assessing the utility of these materials.
This project was funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-0008-C with the University of Washington. A special thank you to Safeway Foundation for its support to Harborview Medical Center’s EthnoMed for the development of cancer-related content.
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