The need for interpreters in medico-legal consultations (Guest Post)

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Medical interpreting is one of the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to help bridge the language barrier between healthcare providers and patients who speak different languages as their first language. Healthcare providers include doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians while patients may also be represented by their relatives and acquaintances. The setting may be in many forms such as clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices, public health seminars, or other health care and legal institutions. Unknown to many people, medical interpreters can assist not only during health consultations and discussions on medical insurance but also in the field of medico-legal.

One of the most important things to consider in healthcare interpretation is finding a qualified translator. The National Council on Interpreting in Health Care defines a qualified interpreter as an individual who is highly proficient in two or more languages, whose professional skills has already been evaluated, who has undergone extensive training, and who has a broad experience in high quality and high precision medical interpretation. They must also adhere to the National Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice published by the National Council. Besides basic language skills and a good grasp of the code of ethics, a qualified interpreter must also possess good knowledge about cultural issues and healthcare terminologies. He or she must also be able to interpret simple instructions and to integrate interpretation with completeness and accuracy. Beware of substandard translators, hire the best medical interpreters from a translator interpreter company that you can trust.

An effective medico-legal interpreter must practice outstanding skills on both the medical and legal fields. They must have an in-depth knowledge of medicine, terminologies, and common medical procedures to be able to relay information between healthcare providers and the patients effectively. They must also possess interpersonal skills that will enable the patients to feel comfortable in unfamiliar settings such as hospitals and clinics. The feeling of trust by the patients on their interpreters somehow alleviates the stress that they experience from their illnesses. Medico-legal interpreters, of course, must possess outstanding knowledge of the law and the legal procedures. Failure of medico-legal interpreters to perform these skills inside the court may result in poor interpretation and mistrial inside the court.

Medico-legal translators reduce the risk of committing errors when filing legal documents and of misinterpretation during a court trial. They are also well-equipped with extensive knowledge in their field and is capable of working in different environments including courts, prisons, correctional facilities, government offices, immigration offices, and police departments. They can be hired to attend in different legal proceedings together with their client. In remote areas, telephone or video conferencing translation is the best choice.

Medico-legal interpreters are capable of assisting in various legal procedures and completion of documents including contracts and agreements of sorts, last will and testaments, civil registry documents (marriage, birth certificate), decrees (divorce, equity, bankruptcy, consent, etc.), deeds (grant, quitclaim, property, power of attorney, etc.), tender documents, export forms, identity documents, passports, and many more. Hire only the best medico-legal interpreters to do the job.

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