What happens when a person who speaks little or no English comes to Latrobe Regional Hospital for care? How do hospital staff communicate with the deaf community or people who are vision impaired?
It is Victorian Government policy for organisations like LRH to provide an interpreting and translation service. The interpreters are accredited through a national body and are bound by a code of ethics. They interpret objectively and confidentially and do not add their opinion or filter information.
LRH uses an interpreter service to help patients and their families make informed choices and understand important information about treatment, medication, the admission process, discharge, or simply their rights and responsibilities while in the hospital’s care.
The interpreter service covers many languages including Australian Sign Language or Auslan for people who are hearing impaired. There is tactile signing for people who are deaf and have vision impairment.
Family and friends are discouraged from acting as an interpreter.
- interprets the spoken word from one language to another
- is bound by a code of ethics
- does not add their opinion
- does not filter information (although they may ask either party for clarification to best interpret the information)
- can be expected to interpret objectively and accurately.
Using an interpreter ensures clients are making informed choices and are active participants in their treatment.
When should an interpreting service be used?
If the hospital is having difficulties communicating with you, an interpreter may be required.
Such assistance may be useful if you are under stress, further limiting your ability to communicate.
You may also need an interpreter to understand important information such as the hospital admission process and discharge, medical history, treatment, prescribed drugs, entitlements or rights and responsibilities.
Access to the interpreting service
A hospital staff member will organise an interpreter for you. Most languages are available through the interpreter service used by the hospital. While every effort will be made to secure an interpreter at a suitable time, their services are in demand and are subject to availability.