Characteristics of a Medical Interpreter and Translator


In the past medical interpretation and translation was performed mostly on an ad hoc basis, calling on whoever was immediately available such as family members or friends, this ran a high risk of inadequate communication as untrained individuals had little understanding of medical concepts or terminology.

In the healthcare sector, miscommunication can cost someone’s life, if a medical professional is unable to understand a patient sufficiently the chances of misdiagnosis and mistreatment increases. A medical interpreter/translator serves as a vital communication bridge between patient and healthcare professional.


The most obvious characteristic a medical interpreter should have is to have a strong medical vocabulary; the interpreter must be able to translate highly specialised terms. Interpreters rely on strong interpersonal and self-management skills in order to facilitate communication while remaining impartial and objective. The health and safety of the patient is directly linked to the interpreter’s ability to communicate.

Another important characteristic is to have complete respect for the privacy of the patient and to remember that such information exchanged between patient and medical professional is completely confidential; this information cannot be disclosed to anyone.

Within the medical profession there are several areas of conflicting ideologies including abortion, contraception, drugs and the right to die; a medical interpreter needs to be very sensitive to these issues and be fully aware of the cultural background of the patient and ensure they do not allow their own views to conflict with the patient.


Medical interpreters assist during admissions, examinations, consultations and procedures. In addition to interpretation, they will also be involved in translating of written documents. Medical translators are able to translate documents of a medical and pharmaceutical kind such as clinical reports and studies, medical drug trial studies, hospital reports, medical articles, guidelines brochures and software.

Medical Translator vs. Medical Interpreter

Although these words are often used interchangeably there is a specific difference between the two; a medical translator is someone who specialises in translating written documents such as patient records, whereas a medial interpreter is someone who specialises in verbal communication between patient and medical professional.

Importance of using a Trained Interpreter

A variety of medical mistakes can take place because of the errors in interpretation; interpreters that are untrained are far more likely to miscommunicate information that can result in severe implications regarding the treatment outcome. A qualified, experienced and trained interpreter will never miss any vital information; they will convey the exact information without adding their own opinion. An interpreter can increase the quality of care for a patient by decreasing communication errors, increasing patient comprehension and satisfaction and improving clinical outcomes.

How Do Hemorrhoids Affect Your Overall Health?

Most people are too embarrassed to tell their doctors about their hemorrhoids. Also called piles, hemorrhoids are masses that accumulate around the rectum. Due to straining or pressure, veins protrude from thin membranes, forming pouches. These can be so painful and irritating that even normal tasks can become stressful ordeals. What is the impact of hemorrhoids to your overall health?

Internal hemorrhoids are those formed inside the rectum, and sometimes extend outside the anus when dilated. External hemorrhoids are lumps that can be seen by the naked eye. Digital rectal exams (DRE) administered by doctors can detect lumps that aren’t visible, but a common symptom of hemorrhoids involve streaks of blood in the stool or toilet paper.

Hemorrhoids can be hereditary in nature. If you have family members with the same problem, then yours is probably genetic. Frequent diarrhea and constipation can increase pressure on the main vein leading to your lower extremities. Straining can impede normal circulation in the body, which weakens the walls of the veins, forming hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids, both internal and external, are painful. Prolonged standing and sitting can cause irritation, pain and even inflammation in the affected areas. It is uncomfortable and can distract from work. Worse, there are instances when hemorrhoids can really take a toll on your health.

There are times where a blood clot may form and cause severe pain in the area. This condition requires immediate intervention. Since hemorrhoids can bleed, anemia may also be a problem. Bowel movements, and scratching can lead to severe blood loss in some cases. Untreated anemia will result in fatigue, poor nutrition and body weakness – all of which can get in the way of your work even further.

As stated before, hemorrhoids can also protrude outside the body. When this happens, there’s a tendency that blood supply may be cut off. This condition is called strangulated hemorrhoids, which can lead to tissue death. Infection is the primary concern when this happens.

Hemorrhoids require immediate medical intervention. Topical creams/ointments and painkillers may be prescribed to numb the pain. Your doctor may also suggest soaking the affected area in warm water to relax the area and prevent irritation.

Most hemorrhoids are mild in nature, and sometimes go away on their own. But if you don’t pay close attention, they may lead to complications. Always keep in mind that prevention is better than cure, so keep moving, get some exercise, and eat only the right stuff.

The Three Types of Health We All Need

When we hear the word health, we probably think first of our physical health… Our mental health and our financial health come second and third.

But, as with all things, we should look for balance in life; and although our physical health is the most important of the three, it is good to realize that one without the other two does not make for a great life. We have to maintain all three if we are going to have the optimum existence; we must work at all three if we are to find any sort of peace in our daily lives.

Our physical health is the basis to our daily ability of movement and general achievement. If we are not physically healthy, it will effect both our mental and our financial health; if we feel unwell or unable, then we are mentally challenged through each day to overcome the pain we endure and the lack of movement we battle against. Added to this, we are less likely to be on our game when it comes to earning money and we are more likely to spend our time in medical treatment centers which will cost us money.

When it comes to our mental health, we are dealing with emotions, the most notoriously difficult aspect of our existence, the hardest thing to overcome, the most powerful part of any human; if we can learn to control or come to terms with our emotions then we have the ability to achieve anything; our mind is our strongest ally when it works for us and our biggest enemy when it conspires against us, it is the one thing we have with us all the time, chattering away, telling us that we can (or cannot) do something; our mind has the ability to cause illness or avoid illness, it has the strength to give us the adrenaline to enact feats of heroism or collapse into moments of weakness and desperation. Positive mental health is imperative if we are to be happy.

Financial health is the least important of the three, yet it has the power to breed confidence. If we are financially stable we have the ability to enjoy many forms of freedom, to experience numerous ways of life, to devour unending types of pleasure. However, the imbalance of financial ‘success’ can also cause enormous amounts of stress, the responsibilities mount up with the assets, the inequalities with our mental and physical health can grow more acute with the financial burdens. The other end of the scale is no more attractive – financial poverty often leads to mental and physical poverty too. Balance is essential if we are to find what we truly desire.

To achieve the balance required, to come to a place of physical, mental and financial health is not easy. We are (as in so many things) ‘miseducated’ about what we truly need and what we can truly do without; we are not encouraged to find a balance in life, we are generally pushed towards one type of health or the other by those around us or that voice within us, given a specific life goal we have to achieve at the expense of finding a healthy balance in all three.

Physical health is very possible by doing a few simple things; drink water, lots of it – not sodas, fruit drinks, power drinks or alcoholic drinks; exercise regularly – and by that I mean do something for your body everyday, stretch, yoga, weights, walk, run, swim, whatever, but something that raises your temperature, that gets the blood flowing and the fat burning, you will be glad you did; eat small amounts but often, begin to change your 3 meal a day habit – snack on healthy foods, eat fruits, vegetables and proteins and vary your diet so it becomes a lifestyle not a fad. If you do these three things, then you can also splurge on the treats like alcohol once in a while, resting after exercise and candy every few days (not hours); once you begin to exercise properly and ingest food regularly your body’s metabolism will work constantly and will devour whatever you put into it so that even the ‘bad things’ disappear more quickly, and either way, you will notice an improvement in your energy levels and a rise in your self esteem. But, as I said, it has to become a way of life, not a momentary fad, and as it becomes a way of life it will become easier and easier to continue being healthy.

Mental health is achievable by being objective with your life. Humans are a very subjective species (meaning that we see a situation from our point of view without looking at it from the outside); and this subjectivity renders us helpless when it comes to overcoming our emotions; we must learn to see the bigger picture, and if we are able to do that we are able to see that we cannot control another human’s actions, we cannot force the world to bend to our will, we will always be confronted with obstacles and we will always have to avoid drama; that is just the way it is. So, knowing that, it suddenly becomes easier to accept change, to accept that each day we will have to keep our cool and work out a solution rather than trying to force life to be what we wish it was. It is imperative that we accept life for what it is, and then we can foresee most of the problems, issues and dramas that seem to blind side us so regularly. If we go forward hoping for the best but prepared for the worst then we go forth with a positive attitude and we are not horrified or defeated the moment something ‘unexpected’ comes our way because we were prepared to deal with whatever life throws at us. Simplifying a life is the best way to be at peace mentally; learning to eliminate unnecessary objects, people or occasions is the easiest way to find a life with balance which in turn will create mental stability and mental health.

Being financially independent is important; and we can all do it if we put our mind to it; no matter what socio-economic class you might come from it is possible to live in a home that is clean, efficient and attractive without having to go into debt, without having to stretch yourself to the limits. But it does come with the need for balance, and the self control to realize what you can and cannot afford at this time. For example there is no point having a television if you cannot pay your rent or afford a car; there is no point burdening yourself with the expense of cable if it means you cannot pay for gas or insurance on your car. And if you cannot afford a TV, then go to the library and read – you will learn more and you will grow more. Spend less and you don’t have to work so hard, learn to enjoy the simple pleasures again, realize that all of the best things in life are free and the all of a sudden you will come up with interesting ways to pass your time, more satisfying ways to spend your life, think outside the financial box, try to do things differently from the way you were taught, look at how the world really works and then question any choices you make to make sure they are right for you (not just what everyone else does), save a little and enjoy alot, be wise with your purchases, don’t buy something for the momentary buzz or screw someone over for the profit you think you gain, begin to re-work the way you employ yourself and try to work at a career you love, not just a job that makes you money – once you find financial balance you will feel a weight lifted off your mind. Financial freedom is possible with a little self discipline. On the other end of the scale, the need to be excessively wealthy will only impact your mental and physical health in the end, for your financial health will only be maintained if you spend an improper amount of time maintaining it at the expense of your physical activities and your mental capabilities. Being financially healthy requires balance, self discipline and the ability to see what you can and cannot afford to burden yourself with.

Your health is essential if you are to live with freedom; your physical health allows you the freedom to go wherever you may so desire; your mental health gives you the freedom to be alone or to surround yourself with positive energy; your financial health buys you the freedom of experience. Maintain each of these; decide to change the inbuilt ‘miseducation’ of the past and work out a new and easier way to exist.

Anything is possible if you choose health.

Guy Blews

Maintaining Professionalism As a Medical Office Assistant

In any business, being professional is important but it is especially important as a medical office assistant because they are usually the first and the last people that clients come into contact with when they enter a health care facility. Since the medical profession has such highly respected position in society, people have come to have very high standards in their expectation of health care professionals and that includes medical office assistants. What does being professional mean? In the health care profession it has come to mean showing compassion, respect, and integrity towards clients.

There is rarely a “typical” day in the job of a medical office assistant so it is often difficult to predict what may happen next. That means that medical office assistants need to be prepared for anything and everything and with that expectation they must always attempt to reach towards excellence in their profession.

Emergencies are the most stressful situations for people generally and medical office assistants will come across emergencies more often than other administrative positions. It is important that emergencies are dealt with in a calm manner that will put clients at ease but it also must be dealt with efficiently so that the clients receive the care they need as quickly as possible. Depending on the kind of office that a medical assistant is working in, clients may have to wait longer than they anticipate and this situation must be handled with kid gloves. That means that patience is required and a soft heart.

When people know that they can expect the highest standards of professionalism from the medical assistants that speak with them first they feel confident and are more at ease when they are asked to wait or are given instructions on what to do while they are waiting. If patients know that you have their best interests in mind they will be more likely to feel comfortable in following your instructions.

One of the best ways to learn skills and learn about professionalism as a medical office assistant is to receive the proper training at an accredited business college that has a good reputation. Look for a business college that is willing to spend time answering questions and gives students the opportunity to put their learned knowledge to use in real life situations.