Interpreting in Palliative Care

with Cynthia Roat

Started talking about quality interpreting and what the features of continuing education need to be designed to support these features of quality interpreting.

Features of Quality Interpreting

  • Recruitment
  • Language testing
  • training as an interpreter
  • Skills testing
  • Monitoring
  • Continuing education
    • In United States with spoken language interpreting, still struggling to develop basic training.
    • Both national certification programs require CEUs to maintain credential.
  • Continuing Ed offering model
    • Palliative care
  • Important to differentiate between continuing ed and basic training
    • Follows after the foundations of basic, fundamental training for interpreters
    • Continuing ed can build on foundation to launch into new areas
    • Or can go deeper or higher into skill introduced in foundational training, but taken to new level
  • When basic training is lacking, continuing ed doesn’t work
  • Continuing Ed Programs need to include:
    • Review of basic skills
      • For spoken language interpreters, training is often 40 hours
    • Introduce new information/skills
      • Information about an area of medical practice
      • Technical terminology e.g. mental health setting, so understanding terms like “half-way house” or “acting out”
      • Simultaneous interpreting (often not addressed in basic spoken language interpreting programs)
    • Integration of new information/skills into the interpreting experience
    • PRACTICE (Need to include practice time in any continuing education)
    • Resources  – Never enough time for continuing ed, so we need people to leave with resources so they can continue the educational journey on their own
  • Programs must be accessible
    • Repeated offerings
    • Disseminate through training of trainers
    • Or do it online

Example of Interpreting in Palliative Care

created by Cynthia Roat, MPH, Anne Kinderman, MD, and Alicia Fernandez, MD

Read more:

The link includes many handouts for the curriculum as well as video samples used in the curriculum.
California HealthCare Foundation had a statewide palliative care initiative, but the foundation thought about the interpreters.  They surveyed the patients served by their programs and found that 40% of patients were Limited English Proficient (LEP.)  So, administrators realized that interpreters were key to success of their programs.
Palliative care is to focus on treating symptoms (not root cause) of disease to keep the patient as comfortable as possible.  Treats medical, social issues.

Example Video from Curriculum

Vocabulary Development

Variety of activities for people to understand variety of terms in English such as:

  • advance directive
  • do not rescucitate
  • Passing on
  • chaplain
  • hospice
  • quality of life

And then work on figuring out ways of saying that in target language.
Then, opportunity to practice interpreting in dialogues.  Also, have sight translation work – including a POLST – Physician’s order for life-sustaining treatment.
Then, a pre-hospital DNR – order so if they die and the family calls 911, the emergency responders will know they don’t have to resuscitate the patient.

Session on the Impact of Personal Experience

  • Can trigger emotions in interpreter
  • deal with “compassion fatigue” or “secondary trauma”
  • And know where to go for support in dealing with those personal issues.

Provide Written Resources

Test and Certificate Completion

In What Languages?

  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Vietnamese
  • Korean
  • Tagalog
  • Russian

But interpreters in all languages even if not translated into language specific