Linguistic diversity is on the rise in Canada. While English and French may be the official languages of Canada, they are by no means the only ones. In fact, the most recent Canadian census collected statistics on 215 languages used within the country.
This must be taken into consideration in the medical field. When it comes to healthcare, it’s critical that correct information is gathered to ensure proper diagnosis and care are given. If a medical professional is unable to communicate clearly with their patient, the process could be hindered.
Having a bilingual medical interpreter within hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities will greatly impact the effectiveness of each patient’s visit. Let’s explore how.
Understanding Why Canadian Healthcare Services Need a Bilingual Medical Interpreter
Acknowledging a Diversity of Languages
With a population of over 37 million and with over 200 different languages spoken in Canada, it’s unrealistic to expect that every patient will be fluent in either English or French.
In the span of five years, the number of people who reported to speak an immigrant mother tongue increased by 13.3% between 2011 and 2016, with the top 22 immigrant languages spoken in Canada comprising more than 6.3 million people.
Based on Canada’s most recent census, the following immigrant languages were the most commonly spoken:
Mandarin: 610,835 people
Cantonese: 594,030 people
Punjabi: 543,495 people
Tagalog (Filipino): 510,420 people
Spanish: 495,090 people
Additionally, data on close to 70 Aboriginal and Indigenous languages were gathered in the 2016 census.
By recognizing that you may not speak the same language as your patients, you can be proactive in taking the steps to better communicate by bringing in a bilingual medical interpreter.
Ensuring Proper Communication
Whether you are an independent medical examiner, working in a specialized practice, or employed by a hospital, it’s crucial that you are able to diagnose your patients properly. At times, this relies on input and information from your patient in addition to their medical history and health records. However, if you are unable to communicate with your patient, you risk giving a misdiagnosis.
Bilingual medical interpreters in Canada ensure that both the patient and the medical professional are understood, thus avoiding any confusion or potential stress. As a medical professional, this can give you the confidence that you are doing your job to the best of your ability and treating your patient with respect.
Working to Save Time
In a medical emergency, searching for someone in your network who speaks the same language as your patient may not be possible; time is of the essence and being unprepared is not an option. Having a bilingual medical interpreter on speed dial or accessible on a Mobile App will give you immediate access to assistance. Phone applications, such as LISA (Language Interpreting Services Application), offer On-Demand Interpreting services for over 200 languages, so you can be certain that you will be able to communicate with your patient when the time comes.
Canadian healthcare services often pride themselves on their standard of care, but part of that level of excellence needs to extend to how medical professionals communicate with their patients. Bilingual medical interpreters in Canada ensure that the standard is exceeded every time.
At Languages in Motion Ltd., our goal is to bring the world together through professional translation and interpreting services. With access to over 200 languages, including American Sign Language, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic, we can help individuals, families, and businesses communicate clearer than ever before. Our certified translators and interpreters have worked in numerous industries, including the Public Sector (Police, Healthcare, Court, Education, and Government & Municipalities), Healthcare, Finance, Local and International Law Firms, Marketing, Insurance Companies and Private/Independent Medical Clinics, Law and Order, and Immigration. Our experience, passion for delivering results,