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Information and resources related to medical interpreting practices.

"ISpeak" Cards
The "ISpeak" cards are for consumers to bring with them when seeking care which identifies the language they speak. The cards are available in more than 30 languages, produced by the Washington State Coalition for Language Access.
Cambodian Terms for Hypertension May Cause Misunderstandings about the Disease
This article discusses the lay and medical terms used for hypertension in Khmer language and their influence on patients’ understanding of the disease.
Clinical Pearl: End of Life Care
A short clinical pearl about the additional complexities of communicating about end-of-life care with non-English speaking. Recommedations for providers working with interpreters.
Clinical Pearl: Working with Interpreters
Guidelines about working with interpreters.
Collaborative Strategies For Language Access In Health Care In Seattle & King County
On February 6-7, 2003, Harborview Medical Center convened a meeting of key stakeholders involved in providing language access services in health care in the City of Seattle and in King County, Washington. The objective was to identify collaborative approaches to the dilemmas facing the “safety net” providers for non-English speaking patients. These are the proceedings and discussions of that meeting.
Communicating through an Interpreter
This is an on-line training course authored by Cynthia Roat, MPH and Elizabeth Jacobs, MD, both nationally recognized experts in language access in health care. This course provides 2 CME's aimed at teaching physicians how to work effectively with live and telephonic medical interpreters. There is a cost for this CME produced by Medical Directions, Inc.
Cross-Cultural Medicine & Working With Interpreters
A teaching module designed and narrated by Dr. Margaret Isaac, Foundations of Clinical Medicine at the University of Washington. The module is geared to health care clinicians about elements of cross cultural-medicine and how to work effectively with an interpreter. Specific topics include: cultural competence, cultural humility, patient-centeredness and modes of interpreting. Module length to complete would be approximately 30-45 minutes.
Guidelines for Interpreted Visits
Some guidelines to consider when using interpreters.
Harborview Interpreter Services Department
Information about Harborview Medical Center's Interpreter Services Department.
Hints and Tips for Working with Interpreters - video
When conversing through an interpreter, it is important to adopt some specific behaviors and styles of communication. This video provides information on some effective ways to bridge the communication gap between English speakers and non-English speakers through the use of interpreters. Video produced by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship. 5 minute 9 second YouTube video.
Interpreting in Palliative Care Course
As the use of palliative care grows, so does the diversity of patients who opt for it. The California Health Care Foundation has a free curriculum for trainers of medical interpreters that covers the topic with sensitivity.
Interpreting Pearls: Cultural Brokering & Advocacy - Interpreting for Patients with Emotional Trauma
A series of video clips meant to illustrate some best practices in working with medical interpreters. These three vignettes focus on medical care and interpreting that communicates compassion for a patient's trauma while focusing on the present complaint.
Interpreting Pearls: Pre-session
A series of video clips meant to illustrate some best practices in working with medical interpreters. These two role-play scenarios and their subsequent discussion videos focus on the importance of providing contextual information to the interpreter.
Interpreting Pearls: Sight Translation
A series of video clips meant to illustrate some best practices in working with medical interpreters. These two role-play scenarios and their subsequent discussion videos focus on sight translation.
Language Barriers in Health Care Settings: An Annotated Bibliography of the Research Literature
Bibliography from The California Endowment
National Council on Interpreting in Health Care
The NCIHC is a multidisciplinary organization whose mission is to promote and enhance language access in health care in the United States.
Phrases of Courtesy in Nine Languages: A Tool for Medical Providers
This language learning tool features videos of native speakers saying phrases of courtesy in nine languages. Phrases of greeting, introduction, acknowledgment, departure and for emergency situations in a clinical setting can be played at a normal speed and at a learning speed. 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.
TIS National Services (Australia) - video
The Australian Government, through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), provides the TIS National interpreting service for people who do not speak English and for people who need to communicate with them. TIS National is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any person or organization in Australia requiring interpreting services. This 5 minute 7 seconds YouTube video describes how the TIS National interpreting service works.
Translation and Interpreting: Getting it Right
Information guides about purchasing translation or interpreting from the American Translators Association.
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