Interpreting in Medical Settings:
Synthesis of Effective PracticesFocus Group Discussions
A Report Commissioned
CATIE Center, College of St. Catherine and the NCIEC
Laurie Swabey, Ph.D., Project Director
Marty Taylor, Ph.D., Project Consultant
Background | Data Collection/Process | (1) Requisite Skills | (2) Advocacy/Support | (3) Cultural Differences | (4) Diversity | (5) Deaf Interpreters | (6) Sight Translations | (7) Patient Charts | (8) Conveying Meaning | (9) Crossover to Legal | (10) Job Description | Summary/Implications | Appendices | Download PDF of Report | Download PDF of Focus Group Survey Results
In September 2006, a group of six experts from across the United States and Canada met at the CATIE Center at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota. This group included Marty Barnum, Glendia Boon, Dan Langholtz, Karen Malcolm, Brenda Nicodemus and Carol Patrie, and was facilitated by Dr. Laurie Swabey and Dr. Marty Taylor. Using the National Standards of Practice for Interpreters in Health Care, the National Code of Ethics for Interpreters in Health Care (both documents produced by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care) and the Californian Standards for Healthcare Interpreters by the California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA), this group of experts developed a draft document on effective practices for ASL/English interpreters working in medical settings. Each expert then interviewed at least one other individual and solicited input on this draft document, resulting in the “Effective Practices Draft Document” dated November 28, 2006.
As part of the continuing process of validating and revising the “Effective Practices Draft Document” a representative sample of focus groups from across the United States were organized. The participants in the focus groups were asked to address specific areas of to provide additional input into the accuracy and completeness of the document. Following is a description of how the data were collected, as well as a synthesis of the participants’ responses and discussions to each of ten questions and a select number of questions from 18 scenarios. The final section includes a summary of the data collected and implications for education, further research, and questions to be considered.
It is important to note that the work of the CATIE Center is focused solely on interpreting in medical settings; it does not address working in mental health settings. Although there is a very fine line with such a distinction, the work of the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC) has divided this task between two centers. CATIE is focusing on interpreting in medical settings, while Northeastern University Regional Interpreter Education Center (NURIEC) is focusing on interpreting in mental health settings.