Microlecture 38: How to Avoid Cultural Faux Pas

Microlecture 36: What is the Difference Between Translation and Interpretation

Microlecture 34: Can the Interpreter Offer Their Own Opinion During a Clinical Encounter

Microlecture 31: Can You Talk in Jargon and Ask the Interpreter to Simplify and Then Interpret

Microlecture 29: What to Do When a Bi-lingual Family Member Overrides the Medical Interpreter

Microlecture 002: Medical interpreter as a Voice Conduit

It can be a bit awkward to figure out how to best to optimally engage the medical interpreter (MI). Is the MI just the “voice” of the patient? Should they transmit only the verbal aspects? What about the nonverbal aspects of what the patient is saying? For example, if the patient is depressed should the MI translate what the patient says with a depressed affect? Does that make the MI a method actor? Also, think about how emotion and social cues vary from culture to culture. For example,  think about a highly volatile and emotional culture and contrast it with a restrained and “stiff upper lip” culture. Will depression present differently in these cultures? 
VJ Periyakoil, MD,  Stanford University School of Medicine. Tweet to us: @palliator

Microlecture 005: No Censoring Rule

What should the medical interpreter do during the clinical encounter? Should they pick and choose in terms of what information they translate and what they withhold? Should they omit certain aspects of what the clinician says?

What should the interpreter do if  one clinician disagrees with another during the clinical encounter? Should they interpret arguments so the patient can understand opposing points of view?

Find out by watching the microlecture VJ Periyakoil, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine. Tweet to us: @palliator

Microlecture 006: The Interpreter as an Asset

Medical interpreters (MI) report feeling like intruders in some clinical encounters. I have talked to numerous MIs and they are a bit baffled by how some clinicians try to talk in English to patients who do not speak English!

Busy clinicians are often wary of anything that might increase the encounter time with patients. That being said, how can we effectively convey complex information like hospital discharge instructions to patients who do not speak English?
VJ Periyakoil, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine. Tweet to us: @palliator

Microlecture 009: The Bilingual Rule

So here is the provocative question. Does your high school Spanish make you a medical interpreter?

Many times, we have a basic understanding of another language and feel confident that we can communicate in that language. We also feel that even if we are not that great in the new language, it is the job of the native speakers to comprehend what we are saying and pardon our errors. This strategy works OK when you are traveling abroad and lets say you are asking for walking directions to the Colosseum in Rome using your sketchy Italian. This will, however, not pass muster in a clinical encounter.

The patient and family are not there to be on the receiving end of our amateur French or Spanish, nor is it their job to pardon our errors and fill in the gaps. Watch the video to learn the bilingual rule.
VJ Periyakoil, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine. Tweet to us: @palliator

Microlecture 010: Teams vs Teaming Instance

I believe that healthcare is a teamsport. In order for patients to get the best care possible, we need multi-disciplinary experts to work together to provide patient-centered, family-oriented care.

We all know about teams. A team is a group of people who work together on an ongoing basis to accomplish a common goal. However, truth be told, modern healthcare is so complex with too many moving parts and so most care is provided within the framework of teaming. So what is  “teaming”?

Teaming is “teamwork on the fly”. It involves coordinating and collaborating without the benefit of stable team structures. A perfect example of teaming is when a clinician calls for a medical interpreter to help with a clinical encounter. In all likelihood, the clinician has never met the medical interpreter before. They both walk into the patient’s room together and proceed to provide care to the patient and family, often across the language barrier and overcoming health literacy issues. It is vital that both the clinician and the medical interpreter can quickly align and work cohesively through the teaming instance. Watch the video to find out more.
VJ Periyakoil, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Tweet to us: @palliator