SAFELY PROVIDING INTERPRETING DURING A PANDEMIC

Aug 27, 2020 12:00:00 AM | SAFELY PROVIDING INTERPRETING DURING A PANDEMIC

Communication is necessary; at times it is mandatory to have someone there to assist with it. Tips for interpreting, sign language

Communication is necessary; at times it is mandatory to have someone there to

assist with it. These tips will help keep everyone healthy during the flu season, and

safe and healthy during this pandemic.


1. Provide Interpreters with masks and face shields if necessary. (All Interpreters

will arrive with masks while the state mandate requires them to do so, and Global

will require them to carry masks with them for some time beyond the state mandate). Additionally, if your staff is wearing other PPE then you need to provide that PPE to the Interpreter.


2. Sign Language Interpreters can work through windows and shields. If you are

working in a highly contagious environment you could have the patient placed in a

room with a window and staff and the Interpreter are able to stand behind the

window and communicate with the Deaf person. (Unless the Deaf person has a

vision issue.). This same set up is able to work with non-English speakers if you have a speaker system or phone for the Interpreter to speak to the patient.


3. Using technology such as VRI, video remote interpreting or OPI, over the phone

Interpreting, are viable options for these situations. Global provides both these

services. Using technology alleviates the need for an additional person in the room

and the possibility of another contact. Our platform is easy to use and can be used

on any smart device, any phone or computer. If you already have a provider, but your provider has some limitations such as where in your buildings they are able to

provide due to equipment rental, or language range...we are a fantastic back up or

secondary provider. We provide 300 languages by OPI and since we have no equipment rental (you use what you have) and we work on any device; we are able to fill in those gaps.


4. Make sure the room that you meet with the patient and the Interpreter in is large

enough for everyone. Practicing social distancing doesn’t end at the entrance of

your office entrance. CDC guidelines state if an Interpreter is unable to maintain

social distance in a room with a patient they cannot be in the room longer than 10

minutes. In general, the Interpreter should not be in an enclosed room with a patient

longer than 15 minutes. You must allow the Interpreter to leave the room while staff

is not in the room.


5. If a patient is receiving a breathing treatment and they have COVID, the Interpreter must have a fitted N-95 mask if they are going to be in the room during treatment or within 2 hours of treatment per CDC guidelines.


There may be other solutions not listed here. If you have a question or concern,

please call our office and we will discuss your questions with you. What is important

is that everyone is safe, healthy and able to communicate.

Global Interpreting Services

Written By: Global Interpreting Services