Women of Impact

Understanding language translation within the Health Care field and beyond.


What rules or guidelines can be followed in order to better assist foreign speaking individuals within the United States health care system?

Professionals must be informed on how communication obstacles impact the health inequities in Limited English Proficient patients in order to lessen the risk of health disparities.

The placement of the interpreter, doctor, and patient plays a huge role in the atmosphere of the meeting.

Where should everyone be located?

The doctor should be facing the patient with the interpreter being a step behind the patient.

Why does placement matter?

The doctor and interpreter carry an innate sense of power (the doctor more than the interpreter). With the interpreter placed behind the patient, the patient can see the interpreter as someone on their "side." In addition, this forces the doctor to look and speak directly to the patient rather than looking at the interpreter.

As an interpreter, the first person should be used when translating and there should be no omissions, substitutions, or additions to what is said.

Why does it matter?

An interpreter's job is to ensure accurate interpretation of the words stated by both the doctor and the patient. For this reason, the first person should be used as they are simply a medium to communicate information.

Example of what not to do:
Patient: I have a pain in my stomach after drinking milk.
Translator: They said that they have stomach pain after drinking milk.

Example of what to do:
Patient: I have a pain in my stomach after drinking milk.
Translator: I have a pain in my stomach after drinking milk.

When meeting new people whether in a professional context or casual context first impressions are important.

The doctor and interpreter should enter the room at the same time. That way, the patient is able to communicate with the doctor right away rather than having to waste valuable time waiting around for the interpreter to arrive. The same is applied for when the interpreter arrives before the doctor.

Prior to any interpretion, the interpreter should make their precense known by introducing themselves. One example is the following:

"Hello my name is John and I will be the interpreter today."

Whatever intoduction the interpreter decides to go should be stated in both the language understood by the patient and then to the doctor in the language they understand (in this case: English).

Importance of Woman
Driven Initiatives

Besides examining the impact female identifying individuals have on the health care system, it is valueable to take a step back and appreciate the companies that put women on the frontline to garner success.


Women-Oriented Companies

Research & Resources

Women play a vital role within the health care system and outside of it. Please take the time to read about the the issues within health care between translators and patients.