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Healthcare interpreters strengthen doctor-patient bond in Manitoba
WINNIPEG -- Healthcare interpretive services are available across Manitoba.
The service is done through a provider’s referral and schedules a professional interpreter to attend appointments with a patient or client.
It is through the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s Language Access Interpreter Service.
Manager Allana Carlyle told CTV News more than 80 times each day in Winnipeg, a professional interpreter is helping someone understand important healthcare information.
"When we first launched our services in 2007 we happily processed 400 requests, last fiscal year we processed over 30,000 requests for interpreter services,” Carlyle said.
In total interpreter services are offered in 32 languages, Carlyle said the most common one requested currently is Arabic which accounts for 17 per cent of requests.
There are close to 100 interpreters in the WRHA’s program who are all screened and professionally trained.
“They provide their services following a code of ethics and standards of practise for interpreters which really means they do their work in a way that is confidential, accurate and neutral,” said Carlyle.
Primary care nurse Kim Hiebert works with refugees in their first year or two in Canada at Bridge Care Refugee Clinic.
“When you're working with an interpreter the communication is effortless that barrier is gone,” she said.
She said 90-per cent of her appointments have an interpreter present, adding their presence makes a big difference compared to just having a friend or family member who speaks both languages translate.
"There might be bias, and when you use an interpreter it removes that bias that maybe a family member would have," she said.
TJ Kainth is an interpreter who works with patients and clients who speak Punjabi.
“When I start interpreting, I introduce myself to both the parties and then the interpretation starts,” she explained.
Kainth says she knows she's done a good job getting the message across when the patient's expression changes.
"That can really strengthen the bond between the physician and the patient, hence, improving the physician-patient relationship, and hence, improving the quality of care."