Key themes of Ethics in Healthcare include patient autonomy, informed consent, and confidentiality. Patients who don’t speak English, or don’t speak English well, are at a disadvantage, because cultural and linguistic differences can be the source of misunderstandings. The Ethics Intern in Language Services will learn to recognize the role language and culture play in potential miscommunication in healthcare, and how the use of certified, trained, experienced medical interpreters can minimize disparities and improve the doctor-patient relationship. As a respected healthcare institution, we do all we can to enhance patients’ understanding of their diagnosis, disease process, and the treatments we propose. Using family and friends as ad hoc interpreters presents ethical dilemmas—they may not understand medical terminology; they may not retain all of the information accurately; and they may not remain impartial. The Ethics intern will shadow medical interpreters on encounters with patients whose primary language is other than English, and watch how they enhance effective communication between medical staff and the patients, and avert complex ethical situations.
If this is the program you are interested in, please click on this link to complete the application and select Language Services Student from the available opportunities.