Tag Archives: medical interpreter

2015 TAPIT-TAMIT JOINT CONFERENCE SEPTEMBER 12-13 NASHVILLE, TN

22 Jun

TN flag

ENHANCE YOUR SKILL SET AND NETWORK
Meet our colleagues for the 2015 Tennessee Association of Professional Interpreters and Translators/Tennessee Association Of Medical Interpreters and Translators in Nashville. “Enhancing the Professional Skills of Interpreters and Translators in the 21st Century” offers pre-conference workshops September 11 and the full conference at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Here’s a chance to hear Holly Mikkelson and Esther Navarro-Hall that you can’t afford to miss.

SIGN UP
Early bird registration is $199 for members and $259 for non-members. The conference currently is calling for papers. For more information, visit http://www.tapit.org, write to info@tapit.org or call (844) 44-TAPIT.

http://www.tapit.org Tennessee Association of Professional Interpreters and Translators
http://www.tamit.org Tennessee Association Of Medical Interpreters and Translators

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I THINK I KNOW WHAT THE WORD IS

14 Jun

HOW CAN I BE SURE? (with apologies to the Young Rascals)
Thank God for smart phones. I didn’t prepare ahead of time for a maternal fetal medicine appointment. What with an early arrival and fifteen minutes to spare, Ms. iPhone 5s proved my hunch right that the literal translation for “birth defect” works, but better to consult a trusted source. This interpreter guy remembered defecto de nacimiento from the previous appointment so why not use the same term again?

A SIMPLE PROCESS
I tried to recall particulars from before. What was the pregnancy-related complication and why did Mrs. Belaunde need a second ultrasound? My first search with defectos de nacimiento brought up http://www.nacersano.marchofdimes.org and confirmed my guess. Then a wander through MedlinePlus with defectos del feto produced anomalía de nacimiento (congenital) and uncertainty http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/. What’s the difference between a defect and an anomaly? I secretly liked anomalia de nacimiento more purely for the sound.

defect: shortcoming, imperfection or lack: genetic defects
anomaly: something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected: there are a number of anomalies in the present system

light bulb 2
PROBLEM SOLVED
There it was. Baby Belaunde’s head circumference measured less than the average size for a fetus of XXX months with the last exam. Mama Belaunde anxiously awaited the results and The Interpreter Guy knew how to say “birth defect” properly and without missing a beat. Have any of my fellow interpreters researched to use the correct term and then, the word didn’t come up in the interpreting session? Me, too. No mention of “birth defect” from either the neonatal specialist or the nurse practitioner. Darn. How many times a day do you use a term, determined that it’s OK, yet a little voice coos, “I don’t think you know all the words!”

Smartphones and a scared kid

24 May

needle

IT’S GONNA’ HURT
Not everyone understands through words, especially frightened children who associate a visit to the doctor with pain. Imagine a tyke who stumbles through the labyrinth of looming hallways, climbs aboard elevators that whoosh, and strangers appear at every turn. All the while she looks up at the world of towering adults who attempt to comfort. Plop her down in a chair and start with the litany of questions. She wonders, “Who are these people and when will they hurt me?” No child likes needles. The medical interpreter appears to help assuage fears and facilitate communication as a member of the  healthcare team.

 

jello
IMAGES HELP
Back at Akron University I learned people process and absorb language through four channels: VAKT visual, audio, kinesthetic and tactile. Recently my handy-dandy iPhone 5c and Google images helped Eduardito to visualize “shake your leg like Jello” and then relax to prepare for a regular injection. He politely nodded yes when asked if he knew what Jello was but I detected otherwise and asked the nurse practitioner “May I bring up an image on my phone through Google images?” Result? A meek nod of the head once he saw the picture and the message conveyed nicely. As a practice I request permission from the practitioner before employing this intervention strategy. Have you had experiences where you used your phone to communicate beyond mere words? Let me know.

Learning Styles through VAKT http://learningabledkids.com/learning-styles/vakt-visual-auditory-kinesthetic-tactile

CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT

13 Mar

Ipad

I-PAD, DON’T FAIL ME NOW

Recently my colleague Natasha Curtis hired me to work on the Spanish Team at Akron Children’s Hospital. During yesterday’s one-month well baby visit a concerned mother asked about tests performed on her newborn. She explained how the nurse pricked her little one’s heel and drew blood right after she was born. “No sé cómo se dice en este país sino en México es prueba de tamiz.” I froze. What in heaven’s name is a “prueba de tamiz”? Instead of focusing on the context, I drilled in on the word, grabbed Miss I-Pad and searched Pwww.proz com, and an online dictionary. Tamiz is a sieve. Sieve test in the birthing suite? Luckily after interpreting what mother said Lady Pediatrician assured mother all tests for baby Angelina turned out normal. I felt foolish for not knowing the exact word.

THANKS, LIZ

After the appointment I sent a text to my fellow interpreter. Liz informed me that “newborn screening” works where all babies go through tests at birth to screen for thyroid, developmental or genetic problems. She uses “prueba de detección” which makes sense as the doctor needs to detect if something is wrong. In my quest to seamlessly interpret the proper word, I erred by not thinking the word through. A sieve filters so wouldn’t a “prueba de tamiz” serve the same purpose? Ever the perfectionist (I don’t suggest this path for anyone) I found the following link from the CDC that confirmed Liz’s suggestion.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/pediatricgenetics/newborn_screening.html

Once again this seasoned interpreter learns to just think over the words and focus on the context. I change my egotistical thinking that “Oh, I know all the words” to “OK, what does what Mrs. Suarez said mean?”

Aside

BUT THERE’S A GUY IN THE ROOM

7 Feb

 

The good mother asks not, “Do you want?” but gives./La buena madre no dice quieres.*

 

INTERPRETER’S ROLE

The purpose of the medical interpreter is to facilitate understanding in communication between people who speak different languages.

Cynthia Roat writes “In this role (cultural broker), the interpreter provides a necessary cultural framework for understanding the message being interpreted. The interpreter takes this role when cultural differences are leading to a misunderstanding on the part of either provider or patient.”* What happens when an LEP’s (Limited English Person) cultural norms jangle my own?

I GOT THIS

I pride myself to approach interpreting assignments with aplomb and assurance. In the medical setting responsibilities shift from conduit, clarifier, cultural broker to advocate and back.  “Sure, I am happy to interpret for Mrs. Belaunde for the lactation specialist class.” Once I intervened for a forty-year old fellow who approached a circumcision. Why, let’s talk about my year and a half experience at the local hospital for pregnant Latina women. I served as the only male interpreter on staff but a deftly positioned curtain, calm voice and demeanor converted this male into a bridge for communication.

THE ENCOUNTER

A pediatrician’s office called for a mom and her six-month old boy’s well child visit. After 45 minutes in a crowded exam room little Ramón became fussy and hungry. Mom grabbed a blanket, nonchalantly placed her little one on her breast and began to feed him. And continued to chatter. Culture shock set in for me in an instant. Instinctively I queried “Ma’am, would you like me to step outside?” She blithely responded no and the conversation continued.

GOOD CAME OUT OF THE EXPERIENCE

It felt strange to be part of what I perceived such an intimate moment. I continued the conversation as if nothing happened. Then mom wondered how long she ought to breast feed or if she would harm her kid if she breast fed too long? Madame Nurse suddenly appeared to administer Ramón’s vaccines. I interpreted the question, the nurse consulted with the pediatrician and provided an answer right quick.

AFTER THE FACT

I “debriefed” with my sister interpreters and supervisor who allayed any concerns. Thank heavens for colleagues who assured that the strategy to offer to leave the room proved the proper response. With a smile my boss replied “John, She’s Latina. Her concern is her child and his care.”

In that brief moment this guy became aware of a practice (breast feeding) that clashed with his cultural norms. Luckily no barrier, that is, my own discomfort, surfaced to impede communication. Honestly, though, my first thought was “But, there’s a guy in the room.”  My sister and brother interpreters, please respond about experiences that rattled your sensibilities.

*Carbonell Bassett, Delfín. A Dictionary of Proverbs, Sayings, Maxims and Adages English and Spanish. Hauppage: Barron’s Educational Series, 1996.

*Roat, Cynthia E. Bridging the Gap over the Phone: A Basic Training for Telephone Interpreters serving Medical Settings. Cross Cultural Health Care Program Seattle: Cross Cultural Health Care Program, 1999.

CCIO MEDICAL INTERPRETER TRAINING 2/8/14 IN COLUMBUS

2 Feb

Rx

Community and Court Interpreters of Ohio www.ccio.org presents “How to Become a Nationally Certified Medical Interpreter” on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. Natalya Mytareva, Chair Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters, will lead the roundtable www.cchicertification.org.

LOCATION

Columbus Bar Association 11th floor Conference Room 175 S. Third St. Columbus OH  43215 www.cbalaw.org/cba_prod

REGISTRATION

Registration fee: $5.00 for CCIO members, $15 non-members. Payment accepted at the door. PLEASE R.S.V.P Mieke Klok at mieke_klok@yahoo.com

See the attached for more information and forward to colleagues and friends.

CCIO_MytarevaInvite

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY

4 Apr

inthemiddle

CONGREGATE, COLLABORATE AND CHAT

Come join for an evening of discussion with CCIO members on interpreting issues. Meet on Tuesday, April 9th from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Panera Bread 19705 Center Ridge Road, Rocky River OH 44116. There you will learn about training opportunities, benefits of CCIO membership and the upcoming annual conference. Here’s an opportunity to ask questions about certification, telephone interpreting and play word games with like-minded people.

WHAT IS CCIO?

The CCIO mission is to bring together community, court and medical interpreters in the state of Ohio; to advocate and promote the interpreting profession and the ethical and professional standards of interpreting; to provide a forum for discussion of interpreting issues among interpreters, agencies, organizations and individuals who contract for interpreting services; to publish information for its membership and interested parties; to organize and conduct courses and workshops for training and continuing education of interpreters; to hold regularly scheduled meetings; to serve in an advisory capacity to interpreters, courts, attorneys, law enforcement, healthcare providers, agencies and organizations who contract for interpreting services, and other businesses and groups regarding issues related to interpreters and interpreting.CCIO is Community and Court Interpreters of Ohio Visit our website at http://www.ccio.org.

MORE INFORMATION

Questions? Contact me at jshaklee@att.net. See the attached flier for more details. Who is with us?

CCIO Invitation 4-9-13