On March 17th, 2014, twenty-four medical interpreters graduated from the Bridging the Gap Program. There were seven languages represented in the training: Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Turkish, Nepali, French, and Japanese. Bridging the Gap is a well-recognized medical interpreter education program with a presence in 31 states, the District of Columbia and Qatar.
Why is it so important to have medical interpreters trained?
Hospitals and health care providers should not wonder about the long conversation the interpreter just had with the patient and think that the interpreter missed information that could be crucial to diagnosis. Staff should not doubt if the interpreter actually interpreted what was just said. Providers should not worry about offending a patient due to cultural differences.
If you are a provider working with interpreters, a patient depending on interpreters to convey your message, or an administrator responsible for providing interpreters, you should consider using trained medical interpreters and avoid second guessing yourself. Using trained medical interpreters will avoid errors that are very common among interpreters who have never received any formal training.
What does BTG Teach?
The Bridging the Gap medical interpreter training program gives interpreters a strong foundation in the standards of practice, code of ethics, techniques for staying in the background, medical vocabulary, and cultural differences.
This foundation helps ensure effective communication, especially in critical, life-threatening situations.
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