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Language interpretation conditions and boundaries in multilingual and multicultural emergency healthcare
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linnaeus Univ, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Uppsala Univ, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: BMC International Health and Human Rights, ISSN 1472-698X, E-ISSN 1472-698X, Vol. 18, article id 23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: With an increasing migrant population globally the need to organize interpreting service arises in emergency healthcare to deliver equitable high-quality care. The aims of this study were to describe interpretation practices in multilingual emergency health service institutions and to explore the impact of the organizational and institutional context and possible consequences of different approaches to interpretation. No previous studies on these issues in multilingual emergency care have been found. Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was used. Forty-six healthcare professionals were purposively recruited from different organizational levels in ambulance service and psychiatric and somatic emergency care units. Data were collected between December 2014 and April 2015 through focus-group and individual interviews, and analyzed by qualitative content analysis. Results: Organization of interpreters was based on patients health status, context of emergency care, and access to interpreter service. Differences existed between workplaces regarding the use of interpreters: in somatic emergency care bilingual healthcare staff and family members were used to a limited extent; in psychiatric emergency care the norm was to use professional interpreters on the spot; and in ambulance service persons available at the time, e.g. family and friends were used. Similarities were found in: procuring a professional interpreter, mainly based on informal workplace routines, sometimes on formal guidelines and national laws, but knowledge of existing laws was limited; the ideal was a linguistically competent interpreter with a professional attitude, and organizational aspects such as appropriate time, technical and social environment; and wishes for development of better procedures for prompt access to professional interpreters at the workplace, regardless of organizational context, and education of interpreters and users. Conclusion: Use of interpreters was determined by health professionals, based on the patients health status, striving to deliver as fast and individualized care as possible based on humanistic values. Defects in organizational routines need to be rectified and transcultural awareness is needed to achieve the aim of person-centered and equal healthcare. Clear formal guidelines for the use of interpreters in emergency healthcare need to be developed and it is important to fulfill health professionals wishes for future development of prompt access to interpreters and education of interpreters and users.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BIOMED CENTRAL LTD , 2018. Vol. 18, article id 23
Keywords [en]
Emergency care; Health care professionals; Language interpreter practices; Migrants health; Organization
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-149351DOI: 10.1186/s12914-018-0157-3ISI: 000434291400001PubMedID: 29866163OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-149351DiVA, id: diva2:1229812
Note

Funding Agencies|Vetenskapsradet (The Swedish Research Council), Sweden [521-2013-2533]

Available from: 2018-07-02 Created: 2018-07-02 Last updated: 2018-08-02

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Lundin, ChristinaHadziabdic, EminaHjelm, Katarina
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