Interpretation in the United States is one of the fastest-growing industries out there – along with translation – and medical interpretation is no exception. Unfortunately, too many hospitals aren’t taking the need for professional medical interpreters seriously enough. Using a non-qualified interpreter can lead to misinformation that can be potentially fatal to a patient, and far too many doctors and nurses opt to call in a bilingual coworker or rely on a family member of the patient rather than take the time to call a professional interpreter. A 2012 study found thousands of interpretation errors occurring in the emergency department of two different hospitals – and 18% of them had the potential for serious medical consequences. Using a trained, professional medical interpreter with at least 100 hours of training significantly reduced the risk of interpreter error.
While there are no standardized requirements for certifying medical interpreters, programs such as the Bridging the Gap medical interpretation course are offered in many states. Bridging the Gap certification comes in 40 or 60 hour options, and the certificate is recognized across the United States. Contact CommGap at http://www.commgap.com for Bridging the Gap classes in Utah, or find a Bridging the Gap class near you.