Primary Care Provider Knowledge and Interest in Medical Interpretation Training for Bilingual Spanish-Speaking Staff
AuthorBechtold, Karina Celeste
Limited English Proficient
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe population of Hispanic limited-English proficient (LEP) people in the U.S. is growing at a staggering rate. Soon a quarter of the population will be Hispanic, with many of them being LEP. High-quality patient-provider communication is vital to cost-effective healthcare that could improve patient health outcomes. There are not enough Spanish-speaking healthcare providers to serve this growing population. Diversifying the profession is one answer, but will take many years. Professional interpreter services have been proven to be helpful in reducing this language discordance, but they are grossly underused due to barriers such as availability, cost, and quality. These barriers disproportionally affect smaller health clinics, so they instead often rely on the use of bilingual staff members and a patient's bilingual family members for interpretation. This practice diminishes the confidentiality of the visit and can lead to interpretation errors that can negatively impact health outcomes and increase healthcare cost. The possibility of applying formal medical interpreter training (MIT) to qualified bilingual staff members could be a solution to make high-quality interpretation services more readily available to the smaller healthcare clinic. An electronic survey was sent out to Nurse Practitioners through the Coalition of Arizona Nurses in Advance Practice listserv that explored their current interpretation use and their general knowledge and interest in applying MIT to their practice. Of the 29 surveyed, 24% of them spoke Spanish and only 7% "always" used interpretation services to provide care to LEP patients. Bilingual staff members and patients' bilingual family members were often the preferred and most utilized method of interpretation, which seemingly was connected to its ready availability. Although almost all of the providers believed that MIT would improve the interpretive skills of their bilingual staff members, only 62% thought the training would be applicable to their practice, with only 38% believing time and cost would be worth the benefit. Further research is needed to help determine if the cost of MIT implementation actually results in improved interpretation skills and if this benefits the practice and the LEP patient.
Degree ProgramGraduate College