ABSTRACT The unmet need for medical interpreters continue to grow as the heterogeneity of our country continues to increase. Linguistic isolation is a significant factor for a large percentage of the adult and youth populations in our country who because of their limited English speaking skills do not have full access to many necessary services, including health. The growing minority population experiencing language and discrimination barriers can be resolved through concerted efforts to attract and/or train bilingual health professionals and to enhance the cultural competence and communication skills of health care providers. To address these barriers our agency in collaboration with several other organizations implemented a Medical Interpreter Training Program. This program prepares students according to the Massachusetts Medical Interpreter Standards of Practice to promote uniformity across the state and to foster the development of quality medical interpreter services in hospitals, health centers, and other health care agencies. This session describes the important role that Medical Interpreters play in improving access to health care. It discusses the basic knowledge and skills necessary for the effective medical interpreter along with the criteria to use when hiring medical interpreters. It concludes with the steps necessary to establish an effective Medical Interpreter Service at your facility. Medical Interpreter Services improve the quality of medical service, increase worker skills and capacity, increase patient satisfaction and reduce medical costs. This session should benefit administrators interested in improving health care access for non- English speaking individuals.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to: 1. Discuss the important role that medical interpreters play in improving access to health care. 2. Recognize the basic knowledge and skills necessary for the effective medical interpreter 3. Define the criteria to use when hiring medicalinterpreters 4. Articulate the steps necessary to establish an effective Medical Interpreter Service at your facility
Keywords: Health Care Access, Minority Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA