Making the Connection - Chapter 5 It is Not Personal

The dangers of Using Non-professional Interpreters

This scenario explores the dangers of using non-professional interpreters, such as family, friends, and persons under 18 years of age. In this example we examine a common occurrence where information is blurred and communication obscured by embarrassment, fear and ignorance.

By failing to use a professional interpreter and not maintaining control of the situation, the doctor is neglecting his duty of care to the patient. The doctor could have discovered the correct diagnosis by quickly consulting a Turkish-speaking telephone interpreter and avoided what could turn out to be a life-threatening situation

Whenever in doubt, use a professional, accredited interpreter.

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