We speak to our patients in the languages they need
For those patients whose primary language is Spanish
We urge patients to use the hospital’s professional interpreters. This is even if a Spanish-speaking patient may have a family member with them who speaks English as well as Spanish. Using our interpreters provides the best quality care by ensuring our medical professionals’ messages are communicated exactly and in a culturally appropriate fashion.
It’s important that our care givers use the services of a professional medical interpreter who has been specially trained and certified in interpreting medical terminology in a hospital setting. This ensures accurate communication across cultural differences and allows nurses and physicians to speak to the exact nature of a health issue without worrying that the patient is getting only half of or incorrect the information. It also protects confidentiality. Patients benefit in that the medical interpreter allows them to speak directly to the health-care provider without difficulty.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits exclusion from services and discrimination on grounds of race, color and national origin among others. This extends to people with non- or limited-English proficiency and is why having trained medical interpreters on site at our hospital protects the patient as well as the health-care provider.
For all other languages
For our Spanish-speaking patients we use our staff interpreters whenever possible. When not possible and for all other languages we use the telephonic services of the Language Line. While not all hospitals provide in-person Spanish interpreters, all hospitals contract for over-the-phone interpreter services.
For deaf and ASL-speaking patients
For our American Sign Language speaking patients, we use video remote interpreters. It’s kind of like using Skype.
Please be sure to ask for an interpreter if needed.