Book: Healthcare Interpreting with Heart and Mind - An Intermediate Textbook for Medical Interpreting

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TMI2 w white - v2.jpg
TMI2 w white - v2 - Copy.jpg
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Book: Healthcare Interpreting with Heart and Mind - An Intermediate Textbook for Medical Interpreting


Author: Suzanna Reiss-Končar, MPH, CHI™
Year Published: 2017
Edition: 1st
Pages: 354 (full color on over 100 pages)
Publisher: Culture & Language Press
ISBN: 978-0-9966517-5-2

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Develop your skills as a medical interpreter. This intermediate textbook will challenge and inform practitioners. It includes complex role plays that address many medical specialties; exercises related to ethics, skills and decision-making; graphics with medical terminology lists; and a Spanish-English medical terminology glossary.   

The author, Suzanna Reiss-Koncar, holds a master’s degree in public health, is a certified healthcare interpreter (CHI™) and has worked as a hospital staff interpreter in San Francisco for more than a decade.

The book is designed both for self-study and for teaching interpreters of any language pair. Each role play includes a version in Spanish and English as well as an English-only version for interpreters of other language pairs. The book's content spans sensitive topics, including HIV/AIDS, gender identity and genetics counseling.

Above all, here is a book with a heart. Interpreters who face hard decisions will value the guidance and illumination offered by a veteran in the field who writes with passion and compassion. The book represents a major contribution to a young profession surging in importance around the world.

Content overview:

The book is composed of eleven chapters and four appendices. Each chapter addresses a specific medical specialty or service. The chapter opens with a complex hospital-based role play followed by discussion of key points in that chapter. The next section addresses one of the ethical principles and related standards published by the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare, followed by exercises for self-study or use in class. Each chapter except one closes with a medical diagram labeled in English and Spanish, another diagram with blank labels (for interpreters to fill in) and a list of terminology in English and Spanish, related to that chapter. The chapter topics are:

·         Anesthesia
·         Pediatric endocrinology
·         HIV/AIDS
·         Obstetrics
·         Adult endocrinology
·         Neurology
·         Urology
·         Gynecology
·         Rheumatology
·         Pharmacology and referrals
·         Genetics counseling

Four appendices, including two invaluable glossaries, address:

Appendix 1:  Resources for medical interpreters

Appendix 2: Language access resources

Appendix 3: Spanish-English and English-Spanish medical glossaries

Appendix 4: Medical terms: a (language neutral) study guide to interpreting, for use in universities and colleges and to support 40- to 100-hour certificate programs for medical interpreters.

Reviews of this publication:

Featured here are principles and situated exercises for the interpreter as a whole person, or rather the ‘tongue, heart, and mind’. That is to say, language, empathy, and decision-making, three of the cornerstones of competent, reflective, and compassionate care. The inclusion of specializations such as pediatrics, HIV/AIDS counseling, and occupational medicine shows a welcome maturation of the field in pedagogical materials development.
— Kelly Washbourne, Professor, Kent State University
[This book] has a variety of contexts and allows the interpreter in training to work through any challenges from terminology, setting, to problem solving, and mediation. There is also room for note-taking exercises/practice with some of the longer segments.
— Indira Sultanić, Ph.D., CHI™, Assistant Professor of Spanish Translation & Interpreting Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University