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Authors

  1. AVALOS, HILDA
  2. STUDENT, NURSING

Article Content

I'd like to join the discussion about translating health care information for patients who don't speak English ("Speaking up for Medical Interpreters," Letters, March 2008).* Although it may seem more convenient to ask a bystander who speaks the patient's language to translate, an untrained translator may not convey the full message or may inadvertently pass on misinformation.

 

Even though Spanish is my first language, I feel professional medical interpreters need to be utilized. I speak Mexican-Spanish, which is very different from Cuban-, Puerto Rican-, or Colombian-Spanish. Medical interpreters are trained to provide the most accurate word-for-word translation. Let's not do a disservice to our patients by placing others in the uncomfortable position of translating for us just to save a few minutes.

 

-HILDA AVALOS

 

Nursing Student

 

Perris, Calif.

 

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