day to day work for healthcare interpreter-feedback wanted
Thread poster: Luke Mersh

Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Spanish to English
May 11, 2011

Hi Guys.

I am interested in knowing exactly what the most common tasks are that healthcare interpreters deal with on a day to day basis.

all post are greatly received.


 

Javier Wasserzug  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Medical Interpreter May 11, 2011

I have been a Medical Intepreter and Translator in a hospital for about nine years, in Seattle, not in Europe.

What would you like to know?


 

sonjaswenson (X)  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Everything! May 12, 2011

I started interpreting in the healthcare field becuase it seemed like a good way to see if I really wanted to pursue a career in conference interpreting.

Initially I interned with a hospital's in-house interpreting department, where we ran all over the entire hospital doing everything- the postnatal breastfeeding class, triage with the entire extended family giving their 2 cent and "correcting" us, the ER when an ambulance brought people in with broken limbs, the birth registrar o
... See more
I started interpreting in the healthcare field becuase it seemed like a good way to see if I really wanted to pursue a career in conference interpreting.

Initially I interned with a hospital's in-house interpreting department, where we ran all over the entire hospital doing everything- the postnatal breastfeeding class, triage with the entire extended family giving their 2 cent and "correcting" us, the ER when an ambulance brought people in with broken limbs, the birth registrar on the maternity ward (sometimes when the parents clearly were using fake ID's), the psychiatric emergency department (mainly after someone attempted suicide or came down from a drug/alcohol OD), minor emergencies and cuts and scrapes or sore throats (often interpreting for parents of children who spoke English), and specialist appointments.

I began working as a freelancer through agencies, often covering a shift in a hospital that had its own staff but was short a person or two. It was similar to the internship. Once I spent a week sitting in the mental health inpatient department to be available whenever my patient needed me and going to all her groups with her.

Later I began working with some agencies that worked through law offices for worker's compensation cases. Generally those are much easier because the person is already through with treatment and their employer insurance company's lawyers are asking for independent medical opinions. They are pretty fast, the doctor takes a look, takes some X-rays, does a few noninvasive tests, and it is over. Once though I spent an entire month, 40 hours a week, with a patient whose company paid for him to attend a pain management clinic. We did group therapy, psychologist sessions, PT, OT, and medical checkups. Worker's comp medical appointments pay much better (sometimes almost double) because they are billed like legal interpreting.

I liked medical interpreting but do much less of it now. The most exciting assignments usually paid the least.
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Luke Mersh  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
day to day work for healthcare interpreter-feedback wanted May 28, 2011

yes i see your point, but i have also found that there is far more translation work than interpreting.

so i will stick with healthcare interpreting, but also do so translations on the side.


 


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