“The best thing to do from a medical provider’s perspective to help the MI is to act as if the MI is invisible” says Maria Reira. Ms. Reira is an expert medical interpreter (MI) who interprets in Spanish, Catalan, and German.
Should we behave as if the MI is an invisible presence, a ‘body-less’ voice, so to speak? This means that even if an MI is physically present, we should treat them as we would a telephone interpreter.
Well, I am not sure.
The MI is an important and helpful member in clinical encounters with a patient with Limited English Proficiency. I will likely lose a lot of valuable data if I reduce their role to a mere voice. If I have an MI in my clinical encounter, I rely on them to interpret both the verbal and non-verbal aspects of patient communication.
Do you agree? What would you recommend?
VJ Periyakoil, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tweet to us: @palliator