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In the medical world, a mistranslation can ruin or end someone’s life. Such was the case with Willie Ramirez when the doctors made a wrong diagnosis based on the wrong translation of the interpreter.
They weren’t able to proceed with the correct treatments. Because of that, the man ended up a quadriplegic.
This is only one of the most known cases of the dangers of mistranslation. This is why when hiring a medical translator, you need to make sure you’re hiring the right person. How would you find the best ones for the job?
Check out these tips below to make sure you’re hiring only the best of the bunch:
1. Test Their Language Proficiency
The translator should be fluent in both English and the language you need; there’s no room for error as a simple mistranslation may be catastrophic in a medical setting.
Note that you may have to find someone who’s adept at both languages to test the translator. This is to confirm if they’re making the right translations and if they’re also adhering to the established protocols.
For example, they should always interpret in the first person and they should never summarize the patient’s message. If they don’t, then they may not have had proper training or they’re ignoring what they learned.
2. Look Into Their Medical Background
They don’t need to have a medical degree, although they do need to have an in-depth understanding of terminologies in this field. They also have to know these terms in both languages, so as not to cause confusion when translating for the doctor and the patient.
Test them with the basics and with some advanced terms to see if they can handle a day-to-day case. Again, you’ll need another person who’s fluent in both languages also with a medical background to test the applicant.
3. Check Their Medical Translator Certification
Aside from demonstrating that they have the capabilities as a medical translator, they should also have a certificate to back it up. Those offering a life science translation service should have certification, which proves that they have undergone the necessary training and passed the examinations.
You may look them up on the registry to ensure that their certificate is genuine. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re hiring a certified medical translator.
4. Perform an Experience and Background Check
It’s preferable if the translator has had prior experience in a medical translator job. They’ll be more familiar with how things work, and as such, they’ll require less training and instructions. However, don’t dismiss new ones right away as they may still meet your standards if you give them the chance.
As you’re dealing with medical documents and such, you may also have to perform a background check. This is to ensure any confidential information remains confidential.
Learn More Tips
There are other things to consider when looking for the best medical translator, but the pointers above should point you to the right person for the job.
If you need more tips about health, don’t hesitate to read our other blog posts. Here’s one tackling how to find a good chiropractor.