Communication is very important for all of us, and a crucial factor when we are sick. We need to explain what we feel and the problem is even greater when it comes to children. They may not know how to identify the discomfort and so they need someone who can understand what the child says and communicate the signs and symptoms to the pediatric doctor. This job is best done by qualified people called pediatric medical interpreters.
Why are Medical Interpreters needed in Pediatrics?
1. It is the best and safest option Non English Speaking patients can get when they arrive at the hospital. Language barriers have caused serious problems for children and adults in the past. Insufficient details and wrong communications have resulted in wrong diagnosis, wrong treatments and unexplainable outcomes.
2. Studies have shown that children and parents who do not speak English fluently tend to spend more time in hospitals trying to explain their problems and also take time to understand the situation, the treatment and its related issues.
3. When you compare the costs of staying in hospitals, the medical interpreters cost much lesser than expected. When non English speaking people stay in the hospital because they are unclear of their children’s situation, they spent about $7500 for a few days. But opt to get help from these interpreters for a reasonable pay and they can get cured and settled within a day or so. So the expenses get reduced.
4. Minor children do need the assistance of experienced medical interpreters as they can understand what the child feels and can also explain the suffering to the doctor in the best way. Never rely on family members or older children as they may misinterpret and consequently wrong treatment may be administered on children.
5. It is highly necessary that the pediatric department provides professional interpreters for the patients as it is a part of service and relieves the parents from that responsibility.
6. Pediatric medical interpreters should be given more training as they will have to learn the art of speaking to small children patiently and comfortably. They need to use basic layman language and not medical terms. Also they are the only ones who can pacify the child at that point of time apart from the parents or caretakers. The child should be able to trust the interpreter and communicate his / her feelings or assumptions or problems so that the most appropriate treatment can be administered.
7. A medical interpreter helps to wipe away most of the fears that pop in the minds of parents and children who cannot speak English. The medical interpreter is the link between the patient and the doctor and through communication they can reassure the family and inform about the progress of the child undergoing the treatment.
8. A medical interpreter goes beyond the consultation room and informs what the family should do, how to fix the next appointment, and also can provide confidence and happiness to the child. This has shown better improvement rates and better satisfaction levels from the side of the patient and their family.
9. Also, medical interpreters are usually those who know the culture and traditions of the patient. So, in case some local home remedies would have been used, these details can be easily communicated between the patient and the interpreter. Since the interpreter knows about such remedies, they can explain the situation to the doctor accurately.
You wouldn’t want to misguide the doctor by attempting to talk English on your own, would you? Parents should make sure to request for a medical interpreter next time you visit the doctor. They are the ones who could put away a lot of misunderstandings and wrong treatments at bay. Choose qualified interpreters to serve you and keep your child safe and happy.