Medical situations

  • Doctors' Appointments
  • Hospital Services
  • Emergency Room Visits
  • Medical Procedures
  • Dental Appointments

A qualified interpreter is necessary to provide quality health care for Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients. The interpreter can be viewed as an essential member of the healthcare team with his/her ability in facilitating linguistic communication and cultural mediation to ensure that the doctors and medical staff have the information necessary to treat the patient. 

The use of qualified interpreters, that is, interpreters who are certified and have experience in the medical setting, ensures that the medical establishment is fulfilling the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements of providing an interpreter. It also allows the patient and medical team to effectively communicate with each other. Without a qualified interpreter, the process may be prolonged by trying to communicate in writing and, because oftentimes English is not the Deaf patient’s native language, the message can easily be misconstrued. This could lead to a misdiagnosis or other complications. 

In the same vein, the use of family members, friends, or medical staff to interpret with a patient is not recommended. People who have a rudimentary knowledge of sign language or finger spelling cannot guarantee that the information was conveyed faithfully or accurately. In addition, family members, friends and medical staff who are not RID certified are not bound by the NAD-RID (National Association of the Deaf – Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf) Code of Professional Conduct. This could lead to privacy issues being compromised, and the general reliability of the information could be suspect. 

PSLI, Inc. provides interpreters who are qualified for healthcare interpreting, and also assures the medical team that their communication needs will be met whether it’s in the emergency room, doctor’s office, medical facility, or other settings providing medical services.