Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hospitals' use of interpreters is on the rise

The Tennessean reports that Nashville hospitals are increasingly using interpreters and interpreting services to assist patients who have limited English proficiency.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has three full-time interpreters and plans to hire three more, said Johannie Resto, bilingual program director of interpreter services. VUMC also uses free-lancers and telephone interpreters.

HCA TriStar Centennial Medical Center offers Spanish classes to all its employees and can call on 16 multilingual employees when interpreting is needed. Telephone interpreters are also used at Centennial, growing from less than an hour of use in 2001 to over 24 hours of use in 2004.

The Saint Thomas hospitals use community volunteer interpreters and a telephone interpreting service.

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