When it comes to the need for medical interpreters in emergency rooms and during office visits, there are a number of precautions that medical workers are being told to take. For one thing, medical workers should always discourage the use of family members as interpreters. The problem is that patients need to know that they are entitled an interpreter, but frequently medical interpreters aren’t available. Further, some Houston Translation Services reports that the cost of medical interpreters can range from $20 to $60 or more for a 30-minute medical visit. Given the expense and often the lack of availability of medical interpreters, medical professionals have attempted to use their limited language translation abilities.
In the past, medical interns having questionable Spanish translation skills are eager to discuss medical care with their patients in Spanish. However, this practice is likely to end as more interns are given language fluency tests. In past studies, result shave indicated that interns sometimes have inadequate skills to speak with patients and provide accurate information. While there are many reasons why residents decide against using professional medical interpreters, some of the most common include lack of time and the inability to find an interpreter. In addition, some doctors prefer to go at it alone because they prefer to establish rapport with their patient. But the risks are great and research has shown that not using a professional certified translation worker or medical interpreter may lead to serious consequences.
Despite the risks found in the study, testing the language skills of medical workers along and increasing access to professional interpreters will deter the use of sub par language skills. Today, medical workers are being taught that it is acceptable non-native level foreign language skills providing that you have an interpreter present. Otherwise, it is necessary to have a native-language level interpreter with the appropriate certifications there.