Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.Learn More
You may need a health care interpreter if you do not understand the language at your child’s hospital or clinic.
It is important that you know information about your child’s diagnosis and treatment. You make many decisions.
In the United States, you have a legal right to have free interpretation services for accurate communication and safety. Federal law requires interpretation services for patients and families with limited English proficiency. The laws may differ in other countries.
Ask your care team to provide interpretation services if you need them.
The type of service can vary. All health care interpreters must be certified.
Your hospital or clinic may have:
A health care interpreter works with patients, family caregivers, and health care providers to make sure they understand each other. An interpreter converts one spoken language into another. An interpreter may also help improve understanding of cultural beliefs.
An interpreter can ensure:
Here are some helpful tips and tricks for working with a medical interpreter:
A patient, family, friends, untrained staff, or children under 18 should not serve as an interpreter. Untrained interpreters may increase confusion and make errors.
Children should never be used as interpreters except in the event of an emergency. They may not understand complex topics.
The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services states that failure to provide these interpretation services for you when necessary is considered discriminatory and illegal.
Do not be afraid to request interpretation services.
Reviewed: February 2023