Interpreter Services in Pediatric Nursing

Lehna, Carlee
July 2005
Pediatric Nursing;Jul/Aug2005, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p292
Academic Journal
A critical part of every encounter between a pediatric nurse and a patient is obtaining accurate patient information. Unique obstacles are encountered when patients and their families have little or no understanding of the English language. Federal and state laws require health care systems that receive governmental funds to provide full language access to services. Both legal and ethical issues can arise when caring for non-English-speaking patients. Often, obtaining accurate patient information and a fully informed consent cannot be done without the use of an interpreter. The interpreter informs the family of all the risks and benefits of a specific avenue of care. When inappropriate interpreter services are used, such as when children in the family or other family members act as interpreters, concerns about accuracy, confidentiality, cultural congruency, and other issues may arise. The purpose of this article is to: (a) explore principles related to the use of medical interpreters, (b) examine different models of interpreter services, and (c) identify available resources to assist providers in accessing interpreter services (e.g., books, online resources, articles, and videos). The case study format will be used to illustrate key points.


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