Would you interpret for an active TB patient?
Thread poster: uFO

uFO  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 08:22
Korean to English
+ ...
Nov 12, 2003

I was approached by an agency with this question. I just started working for this particular agency and feel bad rejecting one of the first assignments. On the other hand, I looked up some medical sites and it looks like that it’s extremely easy to get infection from an active TB patient. I have 24 hours to make up my mind, so any advice will be greatly appreciated.

[Edited at 2003-11-12 17:30]


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xxxncfialho  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:22
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Dont risk your life Nov 12, 2003

if you feel there is a risk I can only tell you I wouldnt do it....

Natália


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uFO  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 08:22
Korean to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I just don't know how risky it is. Nov 12, 2003

I guess every assignment in a hospital involves certain risks (it's probably the "best" place to catch a flu), I am just wondering how much the risk is. It would be great to hear from people who interpret a lot in hospital settings...

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Aisha Rishi
Pakistan
Local time: 16:22
English to Urdu
+ ...
Ask some doctor, or if there is one on the forum Nov 12, 2003

uFO wrote:

I was approached by an agency with this question. I just started working for this particular agency and feel bad rejecting one of the first assignments. On the other hand, I looked up some medical sites and it looks like that it’s extremely easy to get infection from an active TB patient. I have 24 hours to make up my mind, so any advice will be greatly appreciated.

[Edited at 2003-11-12 17:30]


Yes it is infectious. Maybe doctors can tell you some precautionary measures to take.


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Elinor Thomas  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:22
English to Spanish
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ask a doctor, but I think you can use a mask, like the one doctors use. Nov 12, 2003

And there's also the anti-TB vaccine, which at leas in Argentina is mandatory.

HTH


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:22
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
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Can you interpret well with a mask? Nov 12, 2003

I was reading the posting and can appreciate the predicament you are in. The first thing that I was thinking (along with someone else) is to wear a mask. But, how well can you interpret with a mask on? Does it negatively affect understanding? Still, doctors in hospitals talk to patients with masks on, so it might work well. Try it out with a friend and see how he/she understand you.

I agree that it is probably best to ask a doctor about this, more specifically an infectuous diseases specialist. I think that the Centers for Disease Control - Atlanta has a toll-free number that you can call and get the answers from the horse's mouth; I think that the toll-free number also works from Canada. I am sure that there is a similar organization(s) in your country

Good luck and be safe!
Lucinda


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 06:22
English to Russian
+ ...
Some ideas Nov 12, 2003

1. I wouldn't go for it without real protection, and it is the responsibility of agency/client to ensure occupational health and safety on their assignments/premises. What I mean by protection:

2. I would ask if the agency can provide individual equipment (transmitter+ receivers+earpieces) similar to the one used for simo interpretation when the interpreter is not in the booth and there are only 2-3 people out of the entire audience who require interpretation. (in Russian they are called "whispering devices". Shame on me, never bothered to find out the right English name, my American colleages call it the same:). This way you can maintain a certain distance and even be in the next room, and you can still wear a mask (with some degree of inconvinience). Just make sure that the mask IS a protection, I think only a doctor can say that.

2. One of my permanent assignments (with NASA) involves routine physical check including TB. Prior to the first check were officially warned that all currently available anti-TB drugs (even preventive types when you are not ill but infected - there is a difference) would slowly but surely ruin your liver - no other way. Be careful! TB is highly infectious.


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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 13:22
English to French
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NO !!!!! Nov 12, 2003

TB is one of the highest infectious disease, you can catch it only being in the same room !

You are not going to ruin your health for a handful of dollars !

Stay away !! Obviously you do not know how serious is TB.


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uFO  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 08:22
Korean to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to everyone for advice. Nov 13, 2003

After reading your posts and consulting my family, I decided to decline the assignment after all. Medicine is not my area anyway, so I better stick to what I know and enjoy. (I feel so relieved now! Thanks a lot to all of you. I guess I wanted to decline from the very beginning but needed some justification.)

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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 13:22
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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use a telephone Nov 13, 2003

You may want to ask the agency to have you on the phone. The doctor and the patient are in one room, and you can be somewhere else, interpreting over the phone.
As long as viruses and molecules cannot be digitized and transmitted in files, this should work fine.


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Dr Maria Woodford  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:22
English to Russian
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Your health is more important than work Nov 13, 2003

uFO wrote:

After reading your posts and consulting my family, I decided to decline the assignment after all. Medicine is not my area anyway, so I better stick to what I know and enjoy. (I feel so relieved now! Thanks a lot to all of you. I guess I wanted to decline from the very beginning but needed some justification.)


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Dr Maria Woodford  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:22
English to Russian
+ ...
Your health is important than work Nov 13, 2003

uFO wrote:

After reading your posts and consulting my family, I decided to decline the assignment after all. Medicine is not my area anyway, so I better stick to what I know and enjoy. (I feel so relieved now! Thanks a lot to all of you. I guess I wanted to decline from the very beginning but needed some justification.)



Yes, I think you did the right thing. after all, your health is more important than any offers of work. And without your health prospects of work are ruined too. TB is highly infectious, it is best to keep away.


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uFO  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 08:22
Korean to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
good advice Nov 14, 2003

[quote]Csaba Ban wrote:

You may want to ask the agency to have you on the phone. The doctor and the patient are in one room, and you can be somewhere else, interpreting over the phone.


The agency informed me that they already found another person willing to do the interpretation in the hospital. I hope the interpreter who agreed knows what he or she is doing and will take all the precations.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:22
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My TB Oct 8, 2010

I was suffered with possibility of TB infection last month. The hospital gave medical checkup and results were negative. I also learned from doctors and Internet that TB can be and cannot be transmitted in many stages. TB is neither detected nor harming in healthy people. Ask your doctors before declining and ignore humanitarian mind of yourself.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Radosveta Golden  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:22
Member (2010)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Why not? TB patients are still humans, and if they need interpreting, so be it Mar 11, 2011

The masks they use nowadays are not too heavy or thick. Let us not forget, that a patient diagnosed with active TB is supposed to wear a mask as well. I don't think TB causes speech impaiments of deffects, so if the tiage does their best, communication wouldn't be very hard. Of course certain sanitary actions, we normally attemt in any other case of infectious disease should be considered.
Ah, and did I forget to mention? I have actually been vaccinated for TB. See, in my country they thought that even though we didn't have reported cases, TB could still lurking out there around the world, so they had it included among the other mandatory vaccinations and immunizations.


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