For Healthcare and Medical Professionals
It is imperative that doctors, nurses, medical interpreters, and many other healthcare-related professionals communicate clearly and intelligibly and possess excellent listening skills. It is an integral component of the ACGME (accreditation) for residents. Clinical skills and interpersonal communication are addressed in this program via the subcomponents of questioning skills, information sharing, professional manner; pronunciation of consonants, vowels, intonation/prosody, word choice, grammar/syntax, and voice projection. Classes are adapted and adjusted to suit the participants’ needs and the organization’s restrictions, budget and schedule. CEUs may be offered for programs, as well.
Programs can be organized around the schedules of the participants, and can be delivered in the form of classes that meet weekly individually or in small groups, or even in the form of conferences/seminars. All services can be provided on-site or via teleconferencing/Skype. Residency Program Directors, as well as others can suggest this program as necessary, for resident training.
Practice materials include vocabulary, acronyms, and idiomatic expressions frequently used in healthcare settings.
Statistics from the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations found that 65% of hospital deaths and injuries are directly related to communication breakdowns. Nearly 55% of medication errors are caused by faulty communication. These are preventable errors that would not have occurred in the communication had been clear.
When a doctor treating a patient directs a nurse to administer sixteen milligrams of a medication and she misunderstands her and proceeds to give the patient sixty milligrams of the medication, the results could be disastrous.
Sometimes it is difficult for non-native English speakers to recognize that there may be a problem because, often, they've been speaking English since they were children, and it's been good enough to get them where they are. The issue is simply a matter of needing extra specialized training in improving communication skills.
Frequently, native English speakers lack the ability to project their voices appropriately and speak in a clear, professional manner. Health professionals who lack excellent listening skills, speak at a too-fast or too-slow rate, in too high or low a volume, or have any other speaking habits that may negatively affect communication, send the wrong message to both patients and other professionals, alike. Programs are tailored to address this population, as well.
Medical facilities should not expect their staff SLPs to provide this type of service. They have incredibly busy caseloads, and asking them to "treat" the staff would reinforce a stigma that something is wrong and requires therapy. Instead, hire an off site SLP who specializes in accent reduction training and professional communication skills. That way, this person is brought in as an expert trainer, and can also provide opportunities for CEUs.
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Statistics Relating to Medical Interpreters:
Most Common Interpreter Errors
• Omission (52%), in which the interpreter left out an important piece of information.
• False fluency (16%), in which the interpreter used words or phrases that didn’t exist in a
• Substitution (13%), in which a word or phrase is replaced with another word or phrase of a
• Editorialization (10%), in which the interpreter’s opinion is added to the interpretation.
• Addition (8%), in which a word or phrase is added by the interpreter.
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If individual sessions are too much for your budget, you can allay fees by working with one or two other people. Contact me, and I will help to find an appropriate person to work with (ex. from a similar language/speech background)!