KGH Interpretation Spanish-English Medical & Mental Health Interpretation

Medical Sight Translation Practice

I‘ve had a few folks asking me to compile some resources for sight translation practice.  While I’m preparing my own generic versions of common forms, disclosures, and medical reports for my Patreon subscribers, I figured I’d share some resources I found in my online travels!

Please note that these forms and documents are being provided for reference and educational purposes only.  These documents and forms are not my own, I have not modified them in any way, and am not sharing any information that would not otherwise be publicly available.
Notice of Privacy Practices
Notice of Privacy Practices – Healthcare Provider – PDF –

To begin with, the Department of Health and Human Services website has some guidance documents on notices of privacy practices for patients.  If you’ve ever interpreted in well, any medical setting, you know that health insurance plans and most healthcare providers are required to provide a copy of this notice to patients.

I have (unfortunately) run into situations where practices are under-prepared for their LEP patients and either don’t have a copy on hand in their language, their privacy practices are badly translated, or they’re using a check-in tablet service that is not configured properly to provide translated versions of forms.  While all of this shouldn’t happen, it’s important to familiarize yourself with such documents because you never know when you may have to do a sight translation.

Please see the updated section at the bottom of this article for advanced guidance on documents medical interpreters should and should not sight translate!  The Notice of Privacy Practices is mentioned.

The nice thing about the HHS website is that everything is available at least in English and Spanish.  Many pages are also available in other common languages as well!

Unfortunately there aren’t any handy documents at the Department of Health and Human Services website for another common disclosure: Patient Rights and Responsibilities (darn!).  You can go to their rights & responsibilities page which does have a lot of useful links, but as I said, there’s not one big document to sight translate.  This is probably due to the fact that even though it’s similar among facilities, it often has small variations, even between practices within the same network!

Patient Rights and Responsibilities
Fauquier Health – Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Instead, I’ll share with you some links to a bunch of different prominent healthcare organizations’ “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” disclosures!

  • Fauquier Health – Patient Rights and Responsibilities
    Well isn’t this just cool?  In my research I stumbled upon a link to a blog of a PR specialist at the hospital system of the county I grew up in in Virginia.  She posted a bunch of images of their (then, newly-revised) “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” from 2007.  This may seem like a long time ago, but the “revised” dates on the bottom of many of the documents I regularly do sight translations of are often just as old!
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine – Patient Rights and Responsibilities
    Each of their facilities has their own version of their patient rights and responsibilities, and all of them are linked on this one handy page in common languages ranging from Spanish to Amharic!
  • Mayo Clinic – Patient Rights and Responsibilities (PDF)
    Mayo Clinic actually has a PDF version of their English “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” pamphlet available online.
  • American Hospital Association Patient’s Bill of Rights
    While not strictly a “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” disclosure, this page is very similar to something you might find when going to a doctor’s office or hospital.

Bonus!  I also found this excellent cached version of a PDF from the American Psychiatric Association entitled “Principles for the Provision of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services: A Bill of Rights.”  Unfortunately I can’t seem to find a link to the original document anywhere, but I was able to save a copy of the PDF that you can download directly from my site.  This is basically a version of “Patient Rights and Responsibilities” for mental health care.

Common Forms

For the sake of brevity, I won’t be adding lengthy descriptions to these links because I feel they’re fairly self-explanatory.  Please let me know if at any point any of these links become broken as I have saved copies of these forms on my hard drive for future reference.

Personal Medical History

If you’ve never had to do a sight translation of one of these forms, boy are you lucky!  Simple as they often are, they’re long and often list off a slew of prior medical conditions that you have to rattle off to the patient.

Medical Release of Information

The nice thing about doing a sight translation of medical release of information forms is that they often have a few short paragraphs of text explaining the purposes of the release, as well as how to revoke consent.  It’s a pretty straightforward but fundamental document to translate!

Consent to Treat

For an excellent description of informed consent by the National Cancer Institute (that is honestly a fantastic sight translation) click here!  While some forms are generic, others are special forms for specific procedures.

Miscellaneous Forms

UPDATE: June 18, 2020

Yuliya S., a Certified Healthcare Interpreter (Russian) and Interpreter Trainer, was kind enough to point out that the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare has a guidance document on sight translation and written translation for medical interpreters.  I felt the need to include this as an addendum to the article since it touches on the types of documents we should and should not be doing sight translations of as medical interpreters.  I highly recommend reviewing it as it sets some pretty clear guidelines that even I wasn’t familiar with.  That being said, even if the documents presented in this article are not suitable for sight translations in the field, it is excellent practice for other types of sight translations you may be asked to do!

[Cover photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash]
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About the author

Kelly (Grzech) Henriquez

Kelly is a Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI-Spanish) through the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). She works as an independent contractor in the greater Richmond, Virginia area as a Spanish-English medical interpreter and also specializes in mental health interpretation.

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KGH Interpretation Spanish-English Medical & Mental Health Interpretation

Kelly (Grzech) Henriquez

I am a Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI-Spanish) through the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). I work as an independent contractor in the greater Richmond, Virginia area as a Spanish-English medical interpreter. I also specialize in mental health interpretation. Click here to read more about me.

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