Say What? Barriers to Medical Interpretation at Hershey Medical Center
Keywords:medical interpreters, limited English proficiency, LEP
Previous literature demonstrates that the use of medical interpreters improves the quality of health care for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP); however, this resource is critically underutilized. We surveyed third- and fourth-year medical students, as well as internal medicine residents, to assess barriers to using medical interpreters and solutions to overcoming these barriers. These trainees indicated time (51.32%), access (32.90%) and improper training (7.46%) as the most significant barriers, and suggested formalized training on medical interpretation as a possible solution. The proportion of students reporting each of these perceived barriers did not significantly differ based on level of training (p = 0.31). The effects of formalized training on trainees’ comfort using these services and on the care provided to patients with LEP warrants future study.
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