Sometimes, patients need to see doctors that don't necessarily speak the same language as them. This is common when a person needs to see a specialist but is not in his or her home country. Because specialists are fewer and further between, it is common for a patient to not be able to locate one that speaks the same language as him or her. This can be frustrating because the doctor needs to be able to hear the patient's symptoms and concerns and the patient needs to understand the doctor's questions and instructions. You might want to solve this problem by being a medical interpreter. You might have gone through the training and certification process or be currently training. Here are some tips for being an effective medical interpreter.
1. Brush Up On Your Terminology
The first thing that you need to do is brush up on the terminology of the areas in which you are going to be working. If you are going to be working in oncology, you will need to know all of the words that have to do with cancer. If you are going to be working outside your usual area, do some work the night before to brush up on the words that you need to use. This will allow you to avoid any confusion during the doctor's appointment and allow you to clearly explain to the patient what the doctor said.
2. Speak Slowly
Be sure that you are speaking slowly when translating what the doctor says to the patient. Pause and allow the patient to ask you questions that you can then relay to the doctor. By keeping calm, cool, and collected, you will be able to ensure that you are performing your duties as productively as possible.
3. Check With the Doctor If You're Not Sure
Finally, be sure that you are comfortable enough with the doctors that you are working with to clarify that you are using the correct words or the correct explanations. This will allow you to feel confident in the information that you are relaying to the patient and make it easier for you. Talk t the doctors ahead of time if it is at all possible.
For more information, contact a school like Medical Interpreting Associates LLC that specializes in medical interpreter training. They might have other tips that are specific to the discipline that you have chosen to be your main area of interpretation.