According to Census.gov …“The number of people 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home has more than doubled in the last three decades and at a pace four times greater than the nation’s population growth, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report analyzing data from the 2007 American Community Survey and over a time period from 1980 – 2007. In that time frame, the percentage of speakers of non-English languages grew by 140 percent while the nation’s overall population grew by 34 percent.”
There’s no use in denying it. This world we live in, it’s getting smaller. The people that inhabit our planet are converging upon one another. The Brazilians. The Japanese. German, Colombian, Thai. We’re all rubbing elbows like never before. And just as people are not confined to their geographical place of origin, neither are languages.
…and that’s a good thing.
It can also be confusing, frustrating, and difficult. Basic human nature tells us to shut down and turn away when we don’t understand something. That’s the easy thing to do. But what if you’re in the medical profession? What if life, healing, and personal well-being are your responsibility? What if people are trusting you with their health? By law, medical facilities are required to provide on-site or remote translation in any language. Below are a few examples of translation and interpretation that you will encounter…
This is the first thing anyone does upon entering a doctor’s office, hospital, or medical facility. Basic information about a person is absolutely vital to providing proper care and attention. Are your forms available in multiple languages? Is anyone ready and waiting to ensure that all of patient’s information is correct, and that he or she can be contacted?
After the paper work is done, patients are then led this way or that by a nurse. At this point everything is verbal. A patient must describe what their particular ailment is. A doctor must have the ability to ask questions and fully understand the patient’s responses. Verbal communication is extremely vital when a patient is in pain. A doctor must think and act quickly. It’s his duty, his responsibility, and his oath. Is your medical office prepared to give the best care possible to all people?
Along with a different language comes a different culture. Some cultures are similar to our own, and some are not. To deliver the best medical care possible, it is paramount that medical staff be aware of how patients expect to be treated. Is the man expected to do all of the communication for his wife? Does the patient expect to be examined by a doctor of the same gender as him/her? Are there certain places on the body that even a doctor is not allowed to view or touch? Some cultural norms for patients seem extreme and unnecessary to us, but they are very valid to patients. Is your medical staff prepared to take care of their patients with complete empathy and understanding?
At CORE Languages, our purpose is to ensure that nothing is lost in translation, and that all parties involved receive every piece of vital information. Is your office in need of an interpreter? Does your staff need language training? What about a course in medical Spanish?
In the world of health care, proper, accurate, and understandable communication is (literally) a matter of life and death. How can we help you?