Medical Sign Language Interpreting

Medical interpreters to match your patients’ needs.

medical sign language interpreting

Medical Sign Language Interpreting

Qualified and individually picked to match your patients’ needs, ICS sign language interpreters are prepared to make your patients’ appointments as personal as you do.

Never worked with an interpreter before? Don’t sweat it! We’ve included some helpful tips to ensure your inclusive experience goes smoothly. Still anxious? Reach out to a coordinator or ADA-specialist to ask a question or discuss how to prepare for your appointment.

Tips for Working With Medical Interpreters

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    Request medical sign language interpreting as soon as the Deaf patient schedules an appointment. You are able to cancel most appointments 48-72 hours before the request date, so do not hesitate to request an interpreter early in your scheduling.

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    If the Deaf person has requested a preferred interpreter or gender, please include these details in your request. You may also wish to ask if the patient has any additional preferences for their interpreter, such as a Deaf Interpreter (DI or CDI) or a Trilingual interpreter. If you are unsure which services are best for your patient, reach out to an ICS coordinator for assistance.

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    Anticipate the interpreter arriving 10-20 minutes prior to your request. Ensure the interpreter has all necessary parking and security clearances so they are not delayed in arriving.

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    When using an interpreter in your medical office or hospital, advise all pertinent medical personnel to adhere to the following rules of communication:

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    Always speak directly to the patient, never to the interpreter. Address the patient in first person language (ex: “How are you feeling today?”, instead of “How is she feeling today?”) and maintain respectable eye contact with your patient as usual.

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    Medical personnel do not need to speak slower for the interpreter; however, clear and precise language does assist to ensure your patient leaves with a proper understanding of their visit.

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    Your patience is appreciated as the interpreter clarifies any details or questions. It is not uncommon nor detrimental for there to be occasional lapses of silence as the interpreter communicates with your patient, particularly when discussing medical history or medications. The interpreter may interrupt to request the spelling of a medication or to clarify a concept unfamiliar to them or the patient.

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    An interpreter never signs any documentation or makes decisions on behalf of a patient. Please respect the patient’s autonomy by addressing them directly and not handing papers with PII to the interpreter.

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    Respect the interpreters scheduled time. Freelance interpreters provide services for multiple requests every day. Holding an interpreter past your confirmed time postpones their schedule and results in additional invoice charges.

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    If an additional appointment is scheduled, please refrain from asking the on-site interpreter if they are available. Instead, submit all follow-up or referral appointment requests to ICS immediately, so our coordinators can begin securing an appropriately qualified interpreter.