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How Important Are Medical Translation Services?

Written by Bernadine Racoma

November 8, 2019

Medical translation services are gaining importance as the cost of travel becomes cheaper and more available due to the technological developments that make the world smaller. You might be asking what the correlation is between travel and the medical and healthcare industry. Travelers now have more opportunities to receive medical treatment and care even if they are in another country. With medical translation services, a person’s medical records can be rendered in the language of the foreign country where the person is receiving treatment.

Medical translation services

Medical translation services are very essential in today’s context. Medical translation does not only involve translation of content regarding medical devices, general medical information, results of clinical trials and documentation on new medicines. Many medical professionals and healthcare providers need medical translation services, in order to provide patients who speak other languages with the correct medical treatment.

Proper communication is vital between patients and healthcare professionals and it should be in the language that the patient speaks. Professional medical translators accurately translate medical histories, patient records, medical forms, prescriptions and instructions so both patient and medical services provider can fully understand one another.

Translate medical terms

The medical and healthcare industry has its own set of medical terminologies. It’s the language unique to the industry that helps practitioners of the profession to understand one another. All workers in the industry should be familiar with medical terms, including medical assistants, medical coders and medical billers. It is vital for people in the industry to understand medical terms because they are dealing with human lives, and even a small error can potentially hurt the medical practitioners and their patients.

Translation of medical terms requires specialization and expertise. Some medical terms do not have equivalents in English and other languages, thus presenting a challenge to medical translators. To be more precise in their translation, medical translators must know the target audience. Doctors are more familiar with medical terms, while a broader audience will be more comfortable with less technical terms.

Translation of medical terms improves doctor-patient relationship. Professionals are able to have a standardized means of communication. They are able to understand the issues and conditions affecting the patients in their own language. They are able to decode complex data, which helps them to perform accurate diagnosis and provide the proper treatment, whether the patient needs to stay in the hospital for further tests, requires surgery or needs palliative treatment.

Medical document translation

Clients needing medical document translation should see to it that the translator has the necessary expertise and experience to do the job properly. Medical translation can be quite complex, thus it needs a subject matter expert – a translator who has experience in the medical and healthcare sector and has a vast knowledge of medical terms.

It is vital for the translator to be a native speaker, as some medical terms in English do not have the exact equivalent in another language. For example, in English, you use the word ”severe” and it is common for some translators to translate it as ”severo” in Spanish. However, the right Spanish term to use is ”grave”, which means serious. Severo means strict.

Another example is ”evidence”, which is often erroneously translated into ”evidencia” in Spanish. However, the correct Spanish term to use is either prueba, indicio or hallazago.

A native-speaking translator also understands dialectical differences. Spanish spoken in Europe has differences with the Spanish spoken in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries in South America.

Accurate translation of medical documents makes for easy communication and documentation. A professional medical translator sees to it that errors are avoided. With translation, healthcare providers get the proper information regarding an LEP (limited English proficiency) patient. Translation enables the patient to understand his or her medical condition, receive the required medical treatment, understand the prescription and follow the required dosage.

Prescription translation

If you’re vacationing or traveling in a foreign country and suddenly require medical attention, it will be difficult to follow the medical prescription if you do not understand the local language. With prescription translation, you’ll be able to follow the directions and dosages in your language. Accuracy of the translation is of the utmost importance, as it has a direct effect on your health or the person with you.

It’s vital for patients to understand when they should take their prescribed medicine, how much to take and how often to take them. In a previous study that appeared in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal, a case about a patient who only speaks Spanish was cited. He was prescribed heart medication, which he was to take once a day. The pharmacy partially translated the instructions, but the English term ”once” was left as is. However, the term, read in two syllables, as ”on-ce” is equivalent to 11 in Spanish. So instead of taking one tablet a day, the patient took 11 tablets each day.

Such errors in medical translation could have dire consequences. Get a free quote for medical translations services from us. At eTranslation Services, we assure you of professional service and accuracy in our translations, created by native speakers who are subject matter experts. Our rates are very competitive and our turnaround time is one of the shortest. You can reach us through email at [email protected] or give us a call at (800) 882-6058.

 

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