Clinical Pearl: Working with Interpreters
Harborview Medical Center (Seattle WA) provides interpretation for approximately 83 languages, and has recently created small laminated cards with some brief guidelines about working with interpreters.
- Briefly check in with the interpreter, informing them of the goal of visit and asking for cultural input.
- Assure the patient that we are ALL bound by confidentiality.
- Once the visit begins, all communication will be interpreted.
- Speak directly to the patient.
- Ask one question at a time, avoiding the use of jargon, slang or metaphor(s).
- Briefly check-in with the interpreter after the visit, asking for additional cultural input. Share feedback about the interpretation process.
Contact information (telephone and/or web site) should also be provided.