By Ana Gregg, Supervisor of Interpretation Services

From frequent appointments to diagnostic tests and surgical procedures, a child’s complex medical needs can be a challenging experience for any parent or family member.  Families who speak limited English or are hard-of-hearing may encounter additional challenges as they navigate communication barriers.  At Gillette, families can count on receiving compassionate and respectful care from our expert providers—no matter the language they speak. 

Gillette offers interpretation services to all families who need them, free-of-charge.  Our trained medical interpreters help bridge communication barriers by clearly, calmly and concisely conveying information in a language and cultural framework that both our families and medical staff can understand. Families can receive our services face-to-face, via phone, or via our latest advancement: Video Remote Interpreting.

The four most common non-English languages spoken by Gillette families are Spanish, Somali, Karen and Hmong.  We provide interpreters for these languages—and more than 30 others languages spoken by our patients—through both in-house staff and contractual relationships with interpreter agencies (these agencies are equipped to interpret over 200 different languages)!  We’re committed to meeting all of our patients’ language needs, every day. 

Interpretation services meet a vital and growing need among Gillette families.  In an average month, interpreter services assist with 750 patient visits—that’s between 1,000 and 1,500 hours!  Besides having an interpreter available to meet family language needs, Gillette has many vital documents, such as consents and release of information forms, translated to the most common languages needed. Gillette also translates many patient education materials that are used frequently in our clinics and inpatient units. 

Being a medical interpreter is such a rewarding profession!  It is a big professional responsibility to make sure our patients and providers accurately understand each other—taking into consideration not only their language differences, but also their cultural background and the cultural framework of each side of the conversation. 

(Photo: Gillette patient Kimberly Vasquez and her mother pictured with Ana Gregg).

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