Know the Law

Interpreters are faced with many difficult challenges. Those in the medical, community,  and legal fields have many laws, rules, and guidelines to follow, on top of the interpreter code of ethics. In the hospital or in the courtroom, an interpreter and his or her accurate interpretation can sometimes mean the difference between life and death, or innocent or guilty. More and more hospitals are turning to certified interpreters, and the legal field is doing the same. But certification doesn’t necessarily ensure that each interpreter stays up to date on laws, or their varying applications at the Federal and State levels.

Did you know that a new study has shown medical errors are now the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer? It’s astounding, to say the least. And the news is filled with stories about court cases being compromised because of a wrong interpretation or lack of proper interpretation.

As the demand for interpreters grows, so do some organization’s oversights in hiring qualified and certified interpreters. So what can you do to ensure you are doing everything you can to adhere to all the laws, rules, codes, and guidelines of the industry?

Continuing education is always helpful, as is knowledge of terminology and procedure. Courses such as these are offered at Interpreter Education Online.

We are also offering an exclusive webinar on May 24th, with Bruce Adelson, a former DOJ prosecutor and expert in federal compliance. This webinar, entitled “Interpreter Standards of Conduct and the Law”, will go over the essentials of HIPAA, codes of ethics, and federal law. It is an imperative learning experience for medical and legal interpreters alike. The webinar is $45 if you register by May 20th, and $55 after May 20th. This is the second webinar in a new series with more to come every month. Join us May 24th and beyond, and join the conversation on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages!

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