KGH Interpretation Spanish-English Medical & Mental Health Interpretation

Consecutive Interpreting Practice: Mrs. Valencia and Her Mask (EN<>EN)


It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new free consecutive interpreting practice video to my YouTube!  I actually started a group sewing cloth masks for essential retail and service workers in my area, with a dedicated outreach arm to Spanish-speakers.  The group has been a 40-hour a week job providing a much-needed service to non-healthcare workers on the front line.

My next script is entitled “Mrs. Valencia and Her Mask” and is about Mrs. Valencia who refuses to wear a mask at her doctor’s office. Before the doctor calls her back, she has a conversation without masks with Sylvia, her doctor’s nurse. Will she change her mind? Below you will find the video, as well as the complete script below it.  For more videos like these, stay tuned to my YouTube channel.  I will also be posting additional patron-only videos on my Patreon, as well as interesting and educational discussion videos.

Please note: starting in 2021 I will not be producing any more materials for my Patreon. Instead I will be gradually moving my practice materials to and creating medical interpreter educational and practice materials there. Be sure to join! For a run-down of InterpreMed’s amazing features, check out this blog post!

Script: Mrs. Valencia and Her Mask

Sylvia: Mrs. Valencia, can you put your mask on, please?

Mrs. Valencia: Why? I’m not sick. It’s hard to breathe with these things on.

Sylvia: Well ma’am, it’s just as much for my protection as it is for yours. It’s our practice’s policy to enforce mask wearing.

Mrs. Valencia: But you’re wearing one, so if you’re sick, you won’t get me sick. You’re not sick, are you?

Sylvia: You’re right, I’m not sick. That I know of.

Mrs. Valencia: Exactly, so we’re BOTH fine. Case closed.

Sylvia: Well Mrs. Valencia, you can be asymptomatic and contagious.

Mrs. Valencia: What do you mean?

Sylvia: That means you can feel completely fine, not even be running a fever, but you can still be spreading the virus to other people.

Mrs. Valencia: What? Really? You’ve got to be kidding me!

Sylvia: Mrs. Valencia, I’m not trying to scare you. I’m just trying to be real with you. It’s true that we don’t know a lot about this virus, but one thing I do know is: it doesn’t hurt to wear a mask.

Mrs. Valencia: But Sylvia, they’re so uncomfortable. I feel like I can’t breathe when I wear one. What if I don’t get enough oxygen? I know what it feels like to pass out.

Sylvia: Here, let me show you something. Do you know what this is?

Mrs. Valencia: That thing that measures my pulse, right?

Sylvia: That’s one thing it does. It’s a pulse oximeter. It also checks your blood oxygen level.

Mrs. Valencia: So it can see how much oxygen is in your blood?

Sylvia: Yes. What does that number say on my finger now?

Mrs. Valencia: Ninety-nine. What does that mean?

Sylvia: It means I’ve been wearing this mask since 7:30 this morning and my oxygen saturation is at 99%. That means I’m breathing just fine and getting enough oxygen.

Mrs. Valencia: But you’re young. I’m old.

Sylvia: Mrs. Valencia, you’re 59. I’m 42. I ain’t no spring chicken. Only people with breathing problems like COPD might have problems with getting enough oxygen with a mask on.

Mrs. Valencia: But what about that man in the news who crashed his car while wearing a mask? The police said it was because he had too much carbon monoxide!

Sylvia: You mean that guy from New Jersey? That guy was wearing an N95 mask!

Mrs. Valencia: What’s that?

Sylvia: It’s a different type of mask that actually FILTERS the air. These are surgical masks, designed to prevent you and I from spreading droplets. I have no idea what that man was doing wearing an N95 while driving his car…

Mrs. Valencia: Is that bad?

Sylvia: Well, let me tell you from personal experience, N95 masks are rough. But the CDC doesn’t even recommend folks in the general public wear them. We only have a few in the office right now, but we’re only saving them for if we come in contact with someone with a highly contagious respiratory illness.

Mrs. Valencia: Like Coronavirus?

Sylvia: Exactly. That man had no business wearing that mask, let alone while driving. So Mrs. Valencia, please put on your mask. It’ll do you more good than harm.

Mrs. Valencia: Okay… but if people can have the virus and not know it, should I be wearing a mask ALL the time?

Sylvia: I think it’s overkill at home. But it would be a good idea to wear one when you’re out in public. That’s why the governor said people are SUPPOSED to be wearing masks in closed-in public places.

Mrs. Valencia: Oh, ok. I’ll be sure to hang on to this one.

Sylvia: Full disclosure: these are disposable masks. They’re not meant to be reused.

Mrs. Valencia: Oh. Well I know my sister was looking for masks but she couldn’t find any.

Sylvia: Well it sounds like your sister has a good head on her shoulders! Unfortunately it’s really hard to find masks right now. There’s a shortage. The stores are starting to get them back in, but…

Mrs. Valencia: You can give me one of your boxes. I won’t tell anyone.

Sylvia: In this economy? Oh honey, I can’t afford to lose my job over a box of masks!

Mrs. Valencia: Well. You’ve convinced me that masks are a good idea. What do I do, then?

Sylvia: Did you see Daisy in the front office?

Mrs. Valencia: The skinny one?

Sylvia: No, the one with black hair and green eyes. She’s wearing a really cute mask with kitty cats on it.

Mrs. Valencia: Oh, her! Yes, I noticed her mask. Is that fabric?

Sylvia: Yes! It’s so sweet, her grandmama sewed that one for her because she knows she likes cats.

Mrs. Valencia: Oh how nice.

Sylvia: Cloth masks are a LOT easier to come by, and you can wash them. They’re not designed to replace surgical masks or N95 respirators, but they’ll work in a pinch.

Mrs. Valencia: Where can I get one like that?

Sylvia: Well, there are a few places online you can buy them.

Mrs. Valencia: Buying? Online? Oh no, I don’t use the internet. Well, I send e-mails to my grandson on my phone, but…

Dr. Prakash: Sylvia, are you ready for me?

Sylvia: Oh, I’m sorry Dr. Prakash! Mrs. Valencia and I were just chit-chatting away about masks.

Dr. Prakash: Okay, well let me know when you finish.

Sylvia: I am SO sorry Mrs. Valencia. We’ve been so slow lately and I’ve honestly gotten used to taking my time with patients.

Mrs. Valencia: No, it was nice talking to you! I just realized my cousin has been wearing cloth masks, so I’ll ask her where she got them.

Sylvia: See? It’ll all work itself out. Mrs. Valencia, it was a pleasure. Let me go ahead and take you to room number 3 and Dr. Prakash will be with you shortly, okay?

Mrs. Valencia: Okay!

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About the author

Kelly (Grzech) Henriquez

Kelly is a Certified Medical/Healthcare Interpreter (CMI-Spanish, CHI-Spanish) and a medical interpreter trainer. She work as an independent contractor in the greater Richmond, Virginia area as a Spanish-English medical and mental health interpreter. Her passions include affirming interpretation for sexual and gender diverse populations, supporting interpreter mental health, and interpreting developmental-behavioral pediatrics.

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KGH Interpretation Spanish-English Medical & Mental Health Interpretation

Kelly (Grzech) Henriquez

I am a Certified Medical/Healthcare Interpreter (CMI-Spanish, CHI-Spanish) and a medical interpreter trainer. I work as an independent contractor in the greater Richmond, Virginia area as a Spanish-English medical interpreter. Click here to read more about me.

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