Navigating Question and Answer Forms: How to Assist Patients to Fill Out Forms Ethically and Professionally
Presenter: Katharine Allen
Cost: $15 CHIA Members / $25 Non-Members
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Interpreters in healthcare settings are routinely taught to avoid two things: being alone with patients and sight translating most kinds of documents. Yet, often the first contact between an interpreter and patient is in the doctor’s waiting room, where the patient is handed a thick pile of intake forms and the interpreter is asked to go sit down (alone) with the patient and help complete the forms. Refusing to help the patient or insisting that the receptionist work directly with the patient to fill out the forms can lead to a negative and harmful interaction with the patient and provider. This presentation guides interpreters through a straightforward protocol for how to navigate this common situation that provides the patient the sight translation needed for to fill out the forms while allowing the interpreter to limit their interaction so that it complies with professional ethics.
1. Participants will practice scripts for communicating with the receptionist about assisting patients with intake forms.
2. The sight translation of question and answer forms requires interpreters to have direct interactions with patient. Participants will practice sight translation techniques that allow them to interpret the form, answer questions limited to linguistic issues and not write on the form themselves.
3. Participants will practice scripts for limiting their role with the patient during the sight translation and while waiting for the appointment to begin.
Katharine Allen is a healthcare and community interpreter with over 3 decades of experience interpreting, training, and designing curricula. She is co-president of InterpretAmerica. She is lead developer and licensed trainer for The Indigenous Interpreter® 60-hour training and has helped embed professional interpreting into medical missions in Mexico. She has designed curricula for the military. She teaches for the Glendon College Masters in Conference Interpreting. Katharine is co-author of The Community Interpreter® International: An International Textbook, The Medical Interpreter-A Foundation Textbook for Medical Interpreting and Breaking Silence: Interpreting for Victim Services. Katharine speaks and trains nationally. She has an MA in Translation and Interpretation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.