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Medical Interpreting: Common Specialist Appointments

In a previous blog, Common Medical Appointments for Interpreters, we covered the five most common medical appointments you’ll encounter. In this installment of our Medical Interpreting blog series, we’ll dive deeper into specialist appointments. What are the most common specialist appointments you’ll see as a medical interpreter? How should you prepare?

Medical Interpreting: Common Medical Appointments

Advanced Interpreting: Preparing for an Assignment with a Medical Specialist

Most interpreters start their careers with simple appointments: physical therapy, occupational therapy, individual/talk therapy, and well/sick visits. By the time you’re interpreting for specialist appointments, you should be fairly well-versed in general interpreting procedure. You’ll have a system down for learning vocabulary and you’ll know what to expect from a general medical visit. Though it may seem daunting to take this next step, specialist appointments are very much in the same vein.

Take some time before the appointment to review vocabulary you’ll likely use. This vocabulary is often body system-specific: we’ll talk about the bodily systems in future blogs in this series. In some ways, a specialist appointment is easier to prepare for than a general interpreting assignment. You have a general idea of what the provider and patient need to discuss as it’s localized to one system.

Always ask your project manager or site contact for any information they’re able to give before the assignment. With specialist appointments, this is especially necessary: there might be vocabulary particular to the non-English speaker’s condition. Remember: all vocabulary you learn, even specialized vocabulary, is an investment! Once you’ve learned it, you’ll be able to use it for future assignments. Studying for specialist appointments also gives you the advantage of further understanding how bodily systems work together in detailed ways.

Most Common Specialist Appointments

At Global Arena, our interpreters provide service for a wide variety of appointments and needs. While the majority of our assignments fall into the “common medical appointments” category, experienced interpreters regularly receive specialist work. Here are the most common specialist appointments to which we assign medical interpreters:

  • Cardiologists: Cardiologists work with disorders of the heart and circulatory system.
  • Dermatologists: Dermatologists handle maladies and injuries of the integumentary (skin) system.
  • Endocrinologists: Endocrinology is the branch of medicine that studies and handles hormones and hormonal disorders.
  • Gastroenterologists: Gastroenterologists work with patients who are experiencing disorders, illnesses, and injuries that affect the digestive (or excretive) system.
  • Geriatricians: Geriatric doctors work with the elderly population. Geriatrics is also a subset of Family and Internal Medicin
  • Gynecologists: Gynecologists work with the female reproductive system, including well visits/check ups, diagnostics, pregnancy visits and scans (obstetrics), fertility and menstruation, STIs, hormone disorders, and treatment of reproductive disorders and diseases.
  • Nephrologists: Nephrologists help patients who are experiencing kidney disease.
  • Neurologists: Neurologists work with disorders of the nervous system, including both central and peripheral nervous systems and all of their components.
  • Oncologists: Medical oncologists diagnose and treat different forms of cancer. They often work closely with other specialists for a whole-body approach to monitoring and treatment.
  • Orthopedists: Orthopedists and orthopedic surgeons handle bone disorders, diseases, injuries, and maladies.
  • Psychiatrists and Psychologists: There’s a big difference between psychiatrists and psychologists. Psychiatrists prescribe and handle medication and psychologists use psychotherapy to help ease and treat emotional and mental pain. Psychiatrists and psychologists work together to treat mental disorders.
  • Pulmonologists: Pulmonologists handle respiratory diseases and disorders as well as lung abnormalities.
  • Urologists: Urologists work with the urinary tract and often work closely with nephrologists.

Global Arena’s Medical Terminology eLearning Course

If you’re looking for a good foundational knowledge of medical and anatomical terms, Global Arena has you covered. We’ve created a three-hour, self-paced, interactive course to give you a basic understanding of medical terms and conditions. The course is designed for interpreters of all skill levels. It aims to give a better understanding of medical interpreting terminology and basic anatomy.

This course is also suitable for professionals who want to incorporate interpreting practices into their work. These situations require a broad working knowledge of anatomy and physiology. By the end of the course, you’ll know the major bodily systems, human anatomy, specialists, and diagnostic procedures. Medical Terminology for Interpreters also includes a glossary with spaces to write words and phrases in your target language.

The course creation process included collaboration with medical professionals, including general practice doctors, specialists, nurses, and university professors and researchers. It consists of twelve modules. Module one covers common specialists, diagnostic procedures, and scans. The next modules correspond to each bodily system: skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, muscular, gastrointestinal, integumentary, nervous, immune, endocrine, renal/urinary, and reproductive. The course provides a basic knowledge of all of these systems, including functions, anatomy, processes, and common maladies and injuries.

Medical Terminology for Interpreters course includes a certificate of training upon successful completion and lifetime access to updates and new information. You’ll also receive our medical terminology glossary, complete with spaces to add terms in your target language. Click on the link to start learning today!

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