We recently interpreted for a family with 2 children with cystic fibrosis. This involved a 2 hour review with an interpreter attending at the Royal Alexander Children`s Hospital.
The Consultant was fantastic. He was able to demonstrate very clearly to the family how to administer medication. He used chest x-rays of the children to explain the impact on the lungs of cystic fibrosis.
The family were really relieved to be able to understand properly. They live in challenging conditions and the emotional toll has been very heavy.
The family were very grateful for the practical and emotional support. They feel more hopeful.
The Consultant had used a telephone interpreter from another service a few weeks earlier and this lead to a very unsatisfactory outcome, a lack of understanding and considerable stress.
The Consultant had to go through all of the information previously given over the telephone as it had not been understood at all.
The family had also not been able to communicate their anxiety during that remote session. They had been very upset.
Face to face interpreting is so important for people. Human to human contact improves outcomes where interpreting is needed.
It can also be very frustrating for medical staff to work remotely. The Consultant expressed the view that “we are Doctors, we are not meant to work in a virtual world!”
He and the nursing staff were very appreciative that we had provided a face to face interpreter.
Our interpreters work to a model where appropriate empathy is central. We work hard to ensure continuity of interpreter to improve outcomes. We do this for face to face, telephone and video interpreting wherever possible.
This is very different with other services where it is very random who is provided to telephone interpret – rarely is it the same person.
Our interpreter had worked with the family before and had their trust.
Our interpreter was able to support the Consultant to deliver a great service and we are very grateful to her.