The Low Ratio of Nationally Certified Medical Interpreters

The lack of qualified professionals to do medical translations is concerning, article shows.



According to an article published on Emergency Physicians, the number of Nationally Certified Medical Interpreters is only 3,000 in a universe of almost 30 million LEP patients. That means only 1 interpreter for every 10,000 patients, states Olivia Norrmén-Smith and Raviraj Patel in "Lost in Translation? Here is the map".

Even though some Hospitals may have their own internal qualification and allocation processes for interpreters, according to the article, "residents nonetheless reported great difficulty in accessing qualified in-person interpretation through approved channels."This is concerning, once the quality of healthcare of these patients relies on a good communication skill. Misunderstandings may lead to errors that could be even fatal in the worst case scenario.  

Olivia explains that the difficulties in obtaining a good certified professional, in many cases, leads to the use of unqualified interpreters or even family members. "Residents reported feeling “frustrated” and “powerless” or doing more guesswork, testing, and omitting conversations", concludes.

Read the full article HERE.