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In Our Hands

Educating Healthcare Interpreters

Laurie A. Swabey and Karen Malcolm, Editors

Publication Year: 2012

Deaf Americans have identified healthcare as the most difficult setting in which to obtain a qualified interpreter. Yet, relatively little attention has been given to developing evidence-based resources and a standardized body of knowledge to educate healthcare interpreters. In Our Hands: Educating Healthcare Interpreters addresses these concerns by delineating the best practices for preparing interpreters to facilitate full access for deaf people in healthcare settings. The first section of this volume begins with developing domains and competencies toward a teaching methodology for medical and mental health interpreters. The next chapter describes a discourse approach that relies on analyzing actual transcripts and recordings to train healthcare interpreters. Other chapters feature a model mental health interpreter training program in Alabama, using a Demand-Control Schema for experiential learning, the risk of vicarious trauma to interpreters, online educational opportunities, and interpreting for deaf health care professionals. The second section offers four perspectives on education, including healthcare literacy of the clients; the education of Deaf interpreters; the development of standards for spoken-language healthcare interpreters; and the perspectives of healthcare interpreter educators in Europe. The range and depth of In Our Hands takes significant strides in presenting educational opportunities that can enhance the critical services provided by healthcare interpreters to deaf clients.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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pp. ix-xv

Given the importance of healthcare interpreting, both in terms of the high stakes involved and the fact that it affects almost all deaf individuals and their family members, it is time for our field to seriously expand the number of evidence-based...


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pp. xvii-xviii

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Domains and Competencies for Healthcare Interpreting: Applications and Implications for Educators

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pp. 1-26

The need for sign language interpreters in healthcare settings has been identified as crucial by the deaf community in the United States. In a national needs assessment survey of deaf consumers conducted by the National Consortium...

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“What Happens Truly, Not Textbook!”: Using Authentic Interactions in Discourse Training for Healthcare Interpreters

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pp. 27-53

Healthcare interpreting is a high-consequence setting in which accuracy is an interpreter’s most important objective (Napier, McKee, & Goswell, 2010). At the same time, there are often other challenges to deal with: anxious patients, sensitive...

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Mental Health Interpreting: Training, Standards, and Certification

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pp. 54-76

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) sets the benchmark standard for the qualifications of an interpreter. The standard set forth, according to the ADA is as follows: “A qualified interpreter is one that is able to communicate...

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Beyond “Interesting”: Using Demand Control Schema to Structure Experiential Learning

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pp. 77-104

Problem-based learning, cooperative learning, and service learning are all terms associated with the active learning or student-centered learning movement that gained momentum in the 1960s (McKeachie, 1999). The literature in interpreter...

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An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure: Educating Interpreters about the Risk of Vicarious Trauma in Healthcare Settings

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pp. 105-130

Interpreters working in healthcare situations often must manage the transfer of information under difficult circumstances. The content of the message may be highly emotional or primarily negative, or one or more of the parties in the interpreted...

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Just What the Doctor Ordered?: Online Possibilities for Healthcare Interpreting Education

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pp. 131-146

Interpreting in healthcare settings is a multifaceted task requiring significant knowledge and skills. For educators, the challenge is to determine how to most effectively help interpreters acquire and develop the requisite competencies...

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Educating Interpreters as Medical Specialists with Deaf Health Professionals

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pp. 147-163

Signed language interpreters have long worked to bridge the communication distance between the deaf patient and the hearing healthcare provider. In recent years, however, deaf people have gradually assumed the role of the provider, as physicians...

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Health Literacy and Deafness: Implications for Interpreter Education

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pp. 164-189

Health literacy is a fast-growing, nationwide concern among healthcare professionals. In 2004, The Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC, reported that 90 million people in the United States have trouble understanding and using...

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Deaf Interpreters in Mental Health Settings: Some Reflections on and Thoughts about Deaf Interpreter Education

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pp. 190-208

This chapter is a collaboration between a Deaf interpreter of almost 20 years’ experience working as both a Deaf interpreter and a counselor for Deaf people in the mental health field (Pamela Morgan) and a Deaf interpreter researcher...

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Professionalizing Healthcare Interpreting between Spoken Languages: Contributions of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care

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pp. 209-228

While the professionalization of sign language interpreting in the United States is well advanced, with academic training and certification of interpreters long established, interpreting between speakers of spoken languages has lagged behind...

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Educating Sign Language Interpreters in Healthcare Settings: A European Perspective

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pp. 229-259

By comparing the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands, this chapter explores Europe’s current and future needs with regard to the education of sign-language interpreters in healthcare settings. We begin with an overview of the current...


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pp. 261-272

E-ISBN-13: 9781563685224
E-ISBN-10: 1563685221
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563685217
Print-ISBN-10: 1563685213

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 2 tables, 8 figures
Publication Year: 2012