Interpreter standard procedure dilemma!!!
Thread poster: Adriana Johnston

Adriana Johnston  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 18, 2010

Hi every one!

I have a new contract with an end client(A company) interpreting for workers comp patients in medical facilities and rehab centers.
The contract only stipulates that I am to interpret for the patients appointments.

I keep a close contact with the patients' employer, the employer's nurse case manager and patients to keep them updated on what goes on in each medical encounter.

However, I am facing a dilemma because one of the patients had to undergo surgery and the clinic's standard procedure is to contact the patient at home the next day after a procedure. Since the patient speaks no English whatsoever, the nurse case manager has asked me to call the patient directly and ask him how his pain level is and how he is doing after the surgery..... Also she has asked me to call other the patients at home from time to time and check on their progress and then get back with her with the details.

I don't mind doing this and going the extra mile...but my concern is that this maybe unthical or that i maybe violating the interpreter protocol.
Has any body encounter this issue and how would you handle it?


 

Déesse
Local time: 21:53
French to Dutch
+ ...
You shouldn't May 19, 2010

Being myself sometimes called upon as a member of a jury whenever exams for social interpreters are organized in Brussels, I can tell you that in Belgium, the standard procedure for an interpreter is only to interpret. So no translating, no chatting with whoever, just interpreting whatever is being said.

You could however propose to do telephone interpreting. That way, the case manager still has a hold on the situation, and you only do your job.


 

Kipale78
Italy
Local time: 21:53
English to Italian
+ ...
my experience working in a clinic in Philadelphia May 19, 2010

is that it is often needed to make such short calls. They tell you what to ask, and you just do it. It is the best (and easiest way) for you, the patient and the clinic. I used to go to the clinic premises to do this.

If you feel comfortable doing it, do it. If you don't, explain it. But it is simply very practical, if it is a matter of calling up and giving some news or ask simple questions. If there is the possibility that the patient could ask something, then you should insist for having the doctor there with you, otherwise this in and out of phone calls never ends.

That's my experience.


 

Adriana Johnston  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I do feel uncomfortable making those calls May 19, 2010

I do feel uncomfortable making those calls because just like Kipale78 said, when you are speaking directly with the patient, this could arise more questions that only a Dr. could answer when being present, and most importantly, an interpreter is to serve as a conduit, there for if you are speaking with only one party, there is no interpretation involved, but rather, you have to relay the message later or in a different day...

What do you guys think?

The contract only states that the interpreter interpreters during medical encounters, so I guess if I come with an agreement with the company about calling the patient directly, I would have to make an addendum to my contract, and charge a different rate per each call or by the minute....


 

Javier Wasserzug  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
NO May 19, 2010

I work in a pediatric hospital, state of Washington. We are not supposed to have a contact with the patient or their families outside our role mainly if this involves asking questions about medications, symptoms or any medical related topics.

 

Alice Crisan  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:53
English to Romanian
+ ...
No May 19, 2010

You are not their liaison officer to communicate and coordinate their activities.

 


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