January 16, 2021

5 things to look for in a healthcare interpreting partner

Interpreting in any sector comes with its complexities, not least when it comes to healthcare. It’s an area that requires a high level of expertise as well as sensitivity to delicate and often deeply personal matters.
It’s no surprise then that healthcare businesses and organisations want to be sure their interpreting partner has the experience, knowledge and skills to do an excellent job. Always. 
But how do you know who can deliver? Here are just five essential things to look for.  

1. Professionalism
Whether face-to-face, over the phone or via video, the environment in which an interpreter works can make all the difference to the quality of the service.
A busy environment, a poor connection or interruptions can make it difficult to hear what is being said, which can lead to confusion and misunderstandings. So a professional environment, along with smooth operating system, is a must for any interpreting service. 

2. Understanding at all levels
Knowing what a person is saying not only requires a strong technical grasp of their spoken language, but means being aware of other things like cultural context, regional dialects and different types of expression. In this sense, interpreting is much more than simply relaying information from one language to another. It relies on a deeper understanding on many levels. 

3. Poise under pressure
Interpreters are often called on as a matter of urgency. For this reason, it’s crucial that any interpreting provider has a network of ready, willing and able interpreters on hand who can deliver quickly and under pressure. The quality of service delivered then largely relies on the skills and experience of each and every linguist. 

4. Specialist expertise 
The quality of interpreting also comes down to the ability to pair the right linguist with the right job. Which means having a pool of diverse linguists to dive into. So no matter what call comes in, there’s a linguist with that specific knowledge on hand to help. A service without this set up is unlikely to be able to deliver on quality – let alone sustain it over the long term.  

5. Part of a wider network 
Having a global linguist network goes a long way to making connections within local communities. This in turn means being able to deliver services for less common languages, such as Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, and Edo, spoken in Nigeria, which are spoken by few.
In any sector, choosing the right interpreting partner for your organisation can have a far-reaching impact on your business and its customers. But when people’s health – or their life – is on the line, it’s vital to have the support of an interpreting service you can trust.  
Sometimes, it’s the sort of support that can only come from experience. Having provided interpreting for the healthcare sector for many years now, much of our expertise has come from working through the challenges we’ve faced and growing from them – using the experience to become an interpreting partner of choice for many organisations in the healthcare sector today.
At THG Fluently, we’ve been providing translation services to the healthcare sector for more than 17 years. In that time, we’ve learned what it takes to give brands and organisations the translations and interpreting support they need to break into new international markets and do it well. So if you’d like to learn more about how we can support your business with interpreting, feel free to get in touch.

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