Common Errors Made by Medical Interpreters

The language barrier between doctors and patients has always been a major issue in the medical profession. Patients need to know how will they be treated and what actions will be undertaken by the doctor throughout the treatment. As for the doctor, the doctor must understand everything the patient has to say for instance, what and where seems to be the problem.

In order to tackle the issue of the language barrier, medical institutions hire medical interpreters. Medical interpreters are skilled professionals that can communicate between parties behaving as mediators. A medical interpreter can communicate and interpret messages between patients and doctors through different means, which is why they are some of the most demanded professionals in the business world.

However, not all medical interpreters are equally skilled, and even the best interpreters are capable of making mistakes. Here are some of the common errors that are made by medical interpreters:

Unnecessary Treatment

The best example that can you understand this issue is the famous incident that occurred to British mother Teresa Tarry who lost her breast because of an unneeded double mastectomy. This was because of the hospital’s negligence to have the medical documents translated correctly, which led doctors to believe that she had a family history of breast cancer.

Not hiring a professional interpreter

It is one of the most common mistakes made by medical interpreters. Some medical institutions and hospitals get someone who can speak two languages as a way of saving money. Medical interpreters are not just translators, they can also do what we call “Reading between the lines”. They have a deeper understanding of how the language works and they undertake the responsibility to cater to every need of the patient, which is not the case with a non-professional interpreter.

Overselling themselves

There are many interpretation services you can find over the internet that claim to be the best in the field and having complete command over different if not all languages.

It is highly recommended you value experience along with training and test them before using them in a medical or therapeutic situation as one small error in interpretation can lead to catastrophic outcomes.

Medical interpretation is a highly sensitive profession and requires error-free output. Frederick Interpreting Agency has been serving in the industry for many years and our long list of satisfied customers can vouch for that. All our interpreters have at least 10 years of experience in the field and have received certifications from the best institutes in the world.

Contact us if you need a professional interpretation service and give yourself and your patients a sense of assurance.