Training Resources for Medical Language Interpreters and Genetic Counselors
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Research has shown that training greatly reduces the number of mistakes made by language interpreters in a medical situation. This study looks at the hiring and training offered at interpreter service agencies serving seven hospitals within the state of Michigan. The study was centered around the medical field of genetic counseling and therefore, also studied the training a genetic counseling student would get in graduate school on using a language interpreter in an appointment. Information was gathered through interviews and surveys done in person, by phone or by email, within a three month period and the data was compared and contrasted to find similarities between training methods. It was concluded that all of the hospitals in Michigan with genetic counseling use trained professional language interpreters. Therefore mistakes such as omissions, additions, condensations, substitutions and role exchanges in the conversation should be lessened. It was also learning that the majority of the genetic counseling graduate programs in the United States have some form of training on using language interpreters, whether it be from a course in the curriculum, from a separate lecture, or from clinical experience. Therefore both parties should be trained in their roles in the genetic counselor, language interpreter, and patient situation. Further studies should be done to look at the different types of training for language interpreters and genetic counselors and their success at passing knowledge and information on to a non-English speaking patient.