Once the interpreting session has finished you should follow the points below as a guide.

  • You should check that the patient has fully understood the purpose of the appointment and everything that has been discussed.
  • You should use the interpreter to help you book any follow up appointments and summarise anything to the patient before the session is concluded.
  • At this stage any follow up appointments in which you want the same interpreter to attend should be requested through Language Empire and not arranged with the interpreter. You can request/enquire if the interpreter is available but for confirmation of this please contact us directly.
    • It can be helpful to use the same interpreter at follow up sessions as they then have background knowledge of the session if the patient agrees.
  • The most important briefing to conduct is a post appointment briefing. This allows the interpreter to discuss any personal issues they have that have arisen during the course of the appointment. (If they wish this to happen, you should always check first).
    • You have a clinical responsibility to offer your interpreter a debriefing either by yourself or via a supervision group.
    • As a professional you will most likely always debrief with a senior member of your team, therefore it is vital that you carry out the same principle with your interpreter.
    • It is not good practice to leave interpreters without support for their work with mental health clients.
    • It provides the interpreter the chance to discuss any issues covered within the session which may have affected them emotionally.
  • You should not expect the interpreter to fill out any forms on behalf of your patient. They are not insured to do this. They can prompt the patient as to what is required on the form but must not complete it themselves.
  • When signing their job sheets you should adjust the time in consideration for the interpreter helping to book further appointments and include additional time in there to cover a debrief.
  • Always complete your interpreter’s feedback forms as this helps their development. Leaving it for reception staff to complete does not provide them with adequate feedback as they were not part of the appointment.
  • Always thank your interpreter for their help. Without them you would not be able to do your job.
  • Say goodbye formally to your patient and also to your interpreter.
  • You should always allow either your patient or your interpreter to leave the premises first, never together as this can lead to a conversation leading to conflict or familiarity.
  • You should never ask the interpreter to chaperone a patient to another part of the building, this is not their job.
  • You should never allow an interpreter to provide the patient with a lift anywhere, often interpreters are asked by patients to take them places once the appointment is completed.
  • If you provide your patient with any written information, you should consider whether they would require this translating into their mother tongue language so they are able to understand it.

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