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  5. An Appointment in Gastroenterology – Overview



This resource offers a unique opportunity to prepare for interpreting in medical settings, particularly those within a Gastroenterology department. Originally conceived as a companion to “STOMACH THIS! The Digestive System in ASL and English,” this resource allows interpreters to apply the understanding developed in an academic setting to working in a clinical setting.

The resource is set up to provide you with an opportunity to both observe an actual interpretation and practice on your own. You can go through the process of preparing for the assignment, handling check-in at the reception desk, meeting the Deaf patient, and then interpreting the appointment. First of all, you then have the opportunity to interpret the appointment in a consecutive manner. In this format, the video is solely from the perspective of the interpreter?s point of view and pauses on the screen after each turn in the interaction. This allows you to produce an interpretation without being limited by the time constraints of the actual interpretation. Following the consecutive interpreting, you can view the actual interpreted event. The video is presented showing camera angles of the doctor/interpreter and the patient simultaneously. There is also a format for analyzing the features of an interaction. This framework, developed by Dr. Melanie Metzger, can be of assistance in helping interpreters notice the particular challenges of interactive situations and the strategies that interpreters use to manage those settings. Finally, Nancy Niggley offers perspectives on her own interpretation so that you can get insight on what factors affected the choices she made in her interpretation and what she might have done differently if she had an opportunity to do it all over again. After you have observed the actual dynamics of the interaction, it is offered in a format that allows you to practice a simultaneous interpretation.

Following the interaction, you can practice interpreting for a video used in patient education. Mary Jane Harrington, who is the lead nurse for the Gastroenterology Department of Health Partners, gives an overview of two diagnostic procedures. She explains the use of an EGD and Colonoscopy—and gives a tour of the actual examination room used. This video might be similar to something used for patients to familiarize them the procedures they will undergo. This video is presented in both consecutive and simultaneous formats, along with an interpretation done by Nancy Niggley. Additionally, Cara Barnett, who served as the ASL language model on “STOMACH THIS!,” offers an interpretation. So, you can see how a Deaf interpreter, versed in the anatomy of the digestive system, handles an interpretation in a more clinical setting.

The hope is that these options, presented in a sequential manner, will provide significant development in your ability to interpret in settings such as these. Good luck as you set off on this journey of learning.

Doug Bowen-Bailey

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