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An ATA Professional Development Event
Presented by the American Translators Association

Medical Interpreting Seminar
Hilton President     Kansas City, MO     August 26, 2006

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Take advantage of special Early-Bird rates available until August 18.


Earn up to 6 CEPs for the ATA Certification Program. LEARN MORE


An ATA certification exam sitting will be held on Sunday, August 27. This will be a standard exam, not specialty-specific.


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Abstracts & Bios

Achieving Symbiosis in the Triadic Encounter
of Medical Interpreting

This presentation will examine the roles of the three parties in medical interpreting and how a symbiotic relationship between them can only further improve the communication process, the cultural experience and, ultimately, the outcome of the clinical encounter for the Limited-English-Proficient (LEP) patient. As opposed to the adversarial nature of relationships within a legal setting, requiring interpreters' utmost neutrality and invisibility, the discussion will focus on what the provider needs to understand about working with interpreters and LEP patients, and what the interpreter needs to understand about the provider's constraints to ensure a mutually beneficial encounter for all parties concerned. The presentation will include role-play practices, as well as exercises in taking on a role that is not that of the interpreter, to acquire a better understanding of the other parties' constraints, stress factors, cultural and linguistic background. Attendees should leave this workshop with a deeper understanding of all the parties with whom they work in a healthcare setting.


Stress Management for Medical Interpreters

Given some of the traumatic experiences that interpreters may endure when working in mental health settings, this presentation will address the issue of interpreter stress and how to deal with it. Participants will be introduced to the different resources that interpreters have at their disposal to help them with work-related stress. Some specific resources and means of stress reduction will be reviewed, such as Language Line Services own Peer Support Program/Stress Debriefing Training. There will also be the opportunity to discuss different mental health situations in small groups, to come to a consensus about how best to handle challenges that are identified.

Janet Erickson-Johnson, Language Line Services' certification manager, oversees the company's certification program. She has also played a lead role in the development and delivery of basic and advanced medical interpreter training in the U.S. and abroad. With a master's in translation and interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a California State certification, she worked as a freelance interpreter for more than 10 years, completed an interpreting internship at Stanford University Hospital, and taught a medical interpreting course at MIIS. She has also presented at numerous medical interpreter and interpreter/translator conferences since 2000.


From Medical to Mental Health: Adjusting Interpreting Techniques to the Mental Health Setting

This workshop helps trained medical interpreters gain an understanding of mental health interactions and learn to adjust their technique to fit the needs of those interactions. Topics covered include an analysis of the difference between communication in medical and mental health appointments, an introduction into what mental health practitioners are looking and listening for, development of specialized vocabulary, and adjustments of interpreting techniques to fit mental health encounters.

Cynthia E. Roat is a consultant and trainer on issues related to language access in healthcare. Certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for medical and social service interpreting, she has been a medical interpreter since 1992. She is the principal author of the Bridging the Gap medical interpreter training. She helped found the Society of Medical Interpreters in Seattle, and is chair of the advisory committee of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care.


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