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Resource: Health Information Translations Site

The Health Information Translations site includes lots of bilingual resources with value for medical interpreters, health care organizations, and patients. All materials are available free, in PDF format.

Health care interpreters can prepare for appointments and further their knowledge of medical terminology and procedures by using translated materials in 17 languages, from Arabic to Vietnamese. For lists of materials in your language(s), click on a language name. Each PDF file contains both English and the translated language. Some languages have more topics than others, and more languages are on the way.

The site also includes signage with pictorial symbols plus words in multiple languages. Examples include rest room signs, “do not enter,” and “no food or drink.”

All materials were developed by Ohio health care organizations to help improve health education for patients with limited English proficiency.

One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations

The Joint Commission’s Hospitals, Language, and Culture (HLC) study is issuing a new research report, One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations. This report provides a framework to help organizations meet the challenges of providing safe, quality care to culturally and/or linguistically diverse patients. Though the report is based on the findings from an in-depth study of hospitals, all types of health care organizations can use this framework to take an in-depth look at their current practices and guide efforts to address the cultural and language needs of the populations they serve.

Download a free copy of One Size Does Not Fit All: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Diverse Populations.

New York Times Health Guide

By far, one of the most useful links for  medical interpreters who want to improve their understanding of more commonly used medical terms, conditions, procedures, etc.

Report: Language help better for patients at NY hospitals


NEW YORK (AP) – Two years ago, Aida Torres rushed her feverish daughter to the emergency room. Doctors at the Brooklyn hospital tried telling Torres that her mentally retarded daughter, Madayeli, needed surgery for an ovarian cyst, but the scared mother didn’t understand them because she doesn’t speak English.Frustrated and desperate, the native of the Dominican Republic sought help from a Spanish-speaking hospital maintenance worker. He wasn’t able to help either; Torres eventually asked a friend to leave work to interpret.

Sick around the world

Four in five Americans say the U.S. health care system needs fundamental change. Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system, or are these nations so culturally different from us that their solutions would simply not be acceptable to Americans? FRONTLINE correspondent T.R. Reid examines first-hand the health care systems of other advanced capitalist democraciesóUK, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Taiwanóto see what tried and tested ideas might help us reform our broken health care system.

Submitted by Judy Kanter