Professional Translation Services
We offer translation of documents including research proposals and reports, training materials, and technical manuals. Documents are edited by a second translator to ensure accuracy.
Lack of access to language services in healthcare is dangerous, putting patients at serious risk when they can’t be properly asked and be able to respond to questions like Are you pregnant? Have you taken any medications? Are you allergic to any medications? Have you recently eaten? Questions like these are of great importance, for example in the case of sedation or anesthesia having eaten could mean the risk of choking or aspiring food and stomach contents into the lungs causing severe burns from the acid (1).
Lack of access to an interpreter could mean expensive and unnecessary interventions and return visits for misdiagnosed ailments. In the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, the author tells the story of Lia Lee, and the clash of her culture with American medicine that lead to tragedy. She describes that as a baby, Lia began to suffer from seizures, and it took three visits to the emergency room for her doctors to realize it. The first two times they had sent her home with antibiotics for a presumptive bronchopneumonia.
Patients often secure the help of bilingual family members, but this can have negative ramifications as well; important information can be misinterpreted or omitted, and it can take an emotional toll on the ad-hoc interpreter and the patient. Fediman gives as examples that “Obstetricians have had to obtain consent for cesarean sections or episiotomies using embarrassed teenaged sons, who have learned English in school, as translators. Ten-year old girls have had to translate discussions of whether or not a dying family member should be resuscitated.” When there is a language barrier, one cannot consider it quality care, if there is no interpretation provided.
(1) Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, And The Collision Of Two Cultures. New York : Noonday Press, 1998. Print.
Why use Professional Interpreters and Translators?
“Most errors have potential clinical consequences, and those committed by ad hoc interpreters are significantly more likely to have potential clinical consequences than those committed by hospital interpreters. Because errors by ad hoc interpreters are more likely to have potential clinical consequences, third-party reimbursement for trained interpreter services should be considered for patients with limited English proficiency.”
Flores, Glenn MD, Barton Laws PhD, Sandra J. Mayo EdM, Barry Zuckerman MD, Milagros Abreu MD, Leonardo Medina MD, Eric J. Hardt MD. “Errors in Medical Interpretation and Their Potential Clinical Consequences in Pediatric Encounters.” Pediatrics. Jan 2003; 111(1): pp. 6 -14.
“…use of professional interpreters is associated with improved quality of health care for patients with limited English proficiency, and that professional interpreter use is likewise associated with a positive impact that is greater than that of ad hoc interpreters.”
Karliner, Leah S, Elizabeth A Jacobs, Alice Hm Chen, Sunita Mutha. “Do Professional Interpreters Improve Clinical Care for Patients with Limited English Proficiency? A Systematic Review of the Literature.” Health Serv Res. Apr 2007; 42(2): pp. 727-754.
The proportion of foreign born individuals who spoke a language other than English at home was 84.6% in 2012. 19.3% of foreign born persons classify their English speaking ability as “not well,” and 9.6 say they don’t speak any English at all.
Gambino, Christine P., Yesenia D. Acosta, Elizabeth M. Grieco. “English-Speaking Ability of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2012” American Community Survey Reports. June 2014; ACS-26. Available at http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/acs/acs-26.pdf