The need for adequate community interpreting services in healthcare multilingual settings: A case study in Al-Ain, UAE

Yasmin Hikmet Hannouna

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Language is often a barrier to high-quality healthcare. Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services is part of eliminating health disparities, offering quality care, and minimizing risk exposure. In the city of Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates, residents argue for appropriate interpreting services in order to have access to quality care and good health outcomes. The focus of this study was on the need for professional interpreting services to facilitate communication between patients with no functional English and English-speaking health professionals. A survey, structured in-person and telephone interviews, and patients' comments in four hospitals in Als-Ain were conducted and participants were asked to answer twenty open-ended questions on the state of healthcare in their city. The rate of response was 51% (62 returned surveys). The analysis of the data indicates a need for effective language services in Al-Ain healthcare institutions, and perhaps across the country. It was also found that most of the interpreting services are provided by ad hoc interpreters. This serves as a challenge to educational and medical institutions to cooperate and design programs to prepare well-trained professional interpreters so as to ensure quality interpreting services and quality patient care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-95
    Number of pages24
    JournalTranslation and Interpreting Studies
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Ad hoc interpreters
    • Community interpreting
    • Healthcare interpreting
    • Language barriers
    • Limited english proficiency (LEP)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Literature and Literary Theory

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