|QBS Badge Backer|
1) Provide interpreting to, or speak directly with patients and their families at the hospital outside their appointments in the target language, and/or
2) Provide interpreting to, or speak directly with patients and their families at the hospital during their medical appointments
To become a QBS member, one must first take an assessment in their target language, which in my case was Urdu. Since Urdu is considered a rare language, I took my assessment over the phone rather than in person. The assessment tested my spoken skills in Urdu, progressively becoming more difficult till I could no longer answer the questions being asked. Based on the assessment scoring, one is assigned either a QBS Level I or QBS Level II.
Falling in the Level I range meant that you could provide interpreting to, or speak directly with patients and their families at the hospital outside their appointments, for example, if a patient is asking for directions in the hospital. Falling in the Level II range meant that you could provide interpreting to, and speak directly with patients and their families in the target language in their medical appointments. Fortunately, I was assigned to be Level II. An additional perk of being Level II is that you can get paid for providing interpreting for medical appointments!
Before you can be recognized as a QBS member, you must first complete QBS training via CCHMC. I completed my training at the end of my first year in the genetic counseling program, right before I headed out of town to my summer rotation. Since returning to CCHMC for my second year, I have not provided any interpreting for medical appointments (by choice), but rather I have taken on a part time job with the Language Access Services department. At my job, I have worked to create a resource for interpreters whose target languages are rare, like mine. While there are plenty of resources available for interpreters of the more common languages such as Spanish and Arabic, there aren’t many training resources for interpreters who have rare target languages, such as Urdu. In creating this resource, I have also had the opportunity to shadow the CCHMC staff medical interpreters.
The experience of training as a QBS member, and working with Language Access Services has allowed me to appreciate the role of medical interpreters from the perspective of the interpreter. I realized how helpful this experience was when I myself counseled a patient with an Arabic medical interpreter present in the room. I found myself to be much more comfortable with the medical interpreter in the room, and it made the delivery of information to the client much more effective.
I am grateful to have been a part of an institution that has a well-developed Language Access Services department, and provides services every day to numerous patients and families with limited English proficiency. I am passionate about continuing to grow in my cultural competency, and my work with the Language Access Services has helped contribute to that by allowing me to better appreciate the intertwining nature of language and culture.
Fatima Amir, Class of 2018