the panel on examining discourse in healthcare that was presented on Wed. morning ran out of time for panelists to offer their response to the final question, so we will post some of those responses here.
The question: What is one recommendation you have that practitioners or educators could immediately apply?
I think role plays of medical interaction, with Deaf participants, are extremely beneficial. It’s even more helpful if the “healthcare practitioner” in the role play is actually a hearing HCP who doesn’t know ASL but my experience is that it’s been difficult to find people to fill this role. Deaf people understand the importance of developing interpreters’ skills, and are more willing to give of their time. (By the time, I think they should always be offered some kind of honorarium or payment in compensation.)
Having both a Deaf and hearing interpreter observe the role play, to offer their feedback and suggestions, is very useful. It’s also helpful to have developed some talking points for the discussion to counteract the artificiality of the situation. So the “doctor” should know whether they’ve met the patient before, and what the issue is they’ll be presenting, while the Deaf patient should have some points of what they want to cover. There should also be a card for the interpreter, giving them some basic information, and then let them have the opportunity to meet the Deaf patient prior to the appointment with the doctor, and ask whatever questions they think would be useful.
For people who are working in an academic institution, you may be able to partner with a health sciences or nursing program at the institution, so that students in the program role play the healthcare practitioner. It increases the authenticity of the interaction, as well as providing some exposure and education for the students.
I attended Kathy Miraglia’s presentation on the new Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting that NTID has established. there is a wonderful opportunity there to observe real interactions, between hearing participants (healthcare provider and patient), with no Deaf person or interpreter involved, and then between Deaf HCP and Deaf patients, with no interpreter, before viewing interpreted interactions. This seems like an excellent way to learn. However, given that many of us don’t have access to these kinds of resources…yet?….role plays do offer a rich opportunity for learning and reflection.