Medical Interpreter Services

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 25 million Americans who speak English “less than very well.” If you work in the healthcare industry, you’ve likely encountered quite a few patients who fit this description. With the number of people emigrating to the U.S. rising each year, there has never been a greater need for professional medical interpreter services than there is today.

Among other things, TNOLA provides top-quality medical interpreter services in a wide range of settings. Combined with the impressive list of languages that we specialize in, TNOLA is guaranteed to adapt perfectly to your specific needs in the healthcare industry.

Why Do I Need Medical Interpreter Services?

According to researchers, people who speak little to no English in the United States are, on average, less likely to seek preventative medical care, visit the doctor regularly, or find the right treatments. This could largely be due to the language barrier between the hospital staff and the patient.

In order to rectify this, many patients have turned to bilingual family members or coworkers to help interpret information between themselves and the medical staff. However, bilingualism doesn’t guarantee accurate interpretation.

Unlike someone who is simply bilingual, professional interpreters study their area of expertise in great depth. This allows them to accurately communicate complicated medical ideas, terms, and other jargon from the source language to the target language.

Poor communication and misunderstandings in the medical field could have disastrous consequences. Even the slightest confusion, like a slightly inaccurate description of a symptom, could lead to a misdiagnosis—and confusing the dates of a prescription could lead to overdoses or underdoses.

Additionally, there are certain laws and regulations that mandate the usage of qualified medical interpreters in the healthcare industry; and failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in fines and lawsuits. To name a few, a healthcare provider must comply with Title IV, HIPAA, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

TNOLA provides services that can bridge the gap between patients needing healthcare, and the medical professionals that serve our community.

Patient, Doctor, and Medical Interpreter in doctor's office

What Are the Benefits of Professional Medical Interpreter Services?

As mentioned before, poor communication in the medical field is bad news for the patient. Misdiagnosis, lack of informed consent, and inability to follow proper treatment plans are the biggest risks that they face when there’s a language barrier. When you use professional medical interpretation services, these risks are eliminated, and you can interact with your patient as if they spoke perfect English to provide the best health care possible.

When you secure professional medical interpretation services, you provide your patients with the best medical care possible. As a medical professional, avoiding these risks to the patient also protects you from some serious legal implications. Misdiagnosing a patient, lack of informed consent, and misinformation regarding treatment plans or medications are all grounds for malpractice lawsuits which could cost you your medical license.

On top of that, patients who can communicate effectively with their healthcare providers are, on average, more satisfied with their care than those who can’t. Even if they receive proper treatment, patients with limited English proficiency are less likely to return for follow-ups or report problems with their treatment.

In this way, utilizing professional medical interpretation services in your practice will greatly benefit the patient, yourself, and help you comply with the legal standards that regulate the industry today.

Medical Interpreter and Doctor looking at a computer screen

What Kinds of Medical Interpretation Services Does TNOLA Provide?

Contrary to popular belief, there’s more that goes into interpretation than parroting what was said in the source language.

Accurate interpretation services rely on fluidly transitioning between these two core methods: consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation.

Consecutive Interpretation involves listening carefully to the source speaker-language speaker and taking diligent notes while they talk. After the source-language speaker is finished, the interpreter then relays what was said in the target language to the target-language speaker.

Simultaneous Interpretation means the interpreter relays the information from the source language to the target language in real-time.

When both of these methods are combined, the information is transmitted between both parties with the utmost accuracy.

These two methods are subsets of our on-site interpretation services, but TNOLA’s interpreters can also provide accurate medical interpretation services over the phone.

TNOLA’s interpreters are experts in both of these methods of interpretation, and we have extensive experience in employing our skills in a number of different situations, no matter how demanding or stressful they may be. That’s why TNOLA provides the best medical interpretation services in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes.

Medical Staff and Medical Interpreter

What About Medical Translation Services?

Few people know this, but translation is completely different from interpretation.

Interpretation is a two-way street. With interpretation, information is given and received, thus facilitating a conversation, conference, or anything else of the like.

On the other hand, translation is a one-way street. Information passes from the source language to the target language with no response or feedback.

For example, a patient communicating their symptoms to a doctor requires an interpreter. This interpreter is either invited into the room or is consulted over the phone. This interpreter will employ both simultaneous and consecutive techniques to convey meaning from both parties in real-time.

An example of a translation would be a hospital that has two versions of the same insurance or medical form, one set in English and the other in Spanish. In order to create the Spanish version, a medical translator was hired.

In order to provide a complete and all-inclusive healthcare environment, both medical interpretation services and medical translation services are required.

Interpreter at desk wearing headset