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Are non-English speaking patients at risk for surgical errors?

| Nov 26, 2018 | Surgical Errors

It is something most people never think about because they speak English, but when someone who does not speak English goes into surgery, there is always a fear they have no idea what is about to happen. This is horrible. Every person who seeks healthcare in New York should feel confident in that care and have the right to information about what is going on with their care.

According to Modern Healthcare, non-native English speakers may not always have access to caregivers who speak their native language, which can increase surgical errors and other treatment mistakes. The person may not know or understand what is going on. This means they cannot offer consent. They cannot ask questions, and they cannot object.

Not knowing what is going on brings about many issues. To begin with, it can lead to confusion which can lead to incorrect treatment. It also increases the fear and stress of getting a procedure, which is harmful to the mental and physical health.

To combat this problem, medical facilities need to have available translators. These workers must have specific translations training in the language. Many facilities try to use employees who may speak other languages, but this often leads to additional errors, such as misinterpretations and paraphrasing.

Nobody should feel misunderstood in a healthcare situation. There is too much at risk. Medical facilities need to take the initiative to ensure all patients have access to translation services if needed. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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