Communication is of primary importance in a medical examination. This key factor is simple for mostly all medical staff. However, for an international hospital with patients from many different countries, communication is more complicated. To address this, the Interpretation Department is essential to convey messages between patients and medical staff and help the health care process take place effectively.
Work Anytime, Anywhere
The working time of the Interpretation Department is not different with other administrative departments in the hospital. The team is part of Front Office Department. Their daily work is similar to a front desk staff, which is to welcome and support patients from the moment they arrive at the hospital. However, as they are the intermediaries between our medical staff and our foreign patients, their working time is also influenced by the continuous work of the medical staff.
Mr Vu Thanh Son (Chinese Interpreter) has 18 years’ experience working at FV. He is also the oldest member of the Interpreting Department. According to Mr Son, the daily work of an interpreter at FV is not too complicated or stressful. However, some colleagues have to take phone calls out of working time, which can cause some inconvenience. Mr Son said: “Many nights I receive urgent calls from the Accident & Emergency Department, I couldn’t sleep after finishing the call. At first, it was frustrating, but gradually I got used to it.” After many years of working at FV, Mr Son clearly understands the special nature and necessity of the work of an interpreter this helps him address the occasional discomfort.
An interpreter has a wide scope of work. They support almost all departments; sometimes they also accompany the patient through their treatment. They have to assist the medical secretaries and nurses at the initial reception, the doctor during the patient consultations, the surgeon during procedures and even during the giving birth. Ms Dinh Thi Quynh Mai (Korean Interpreter) shared; she assisted a pregnant woman from the first months of her maternity until the time she was in the delivery room. “When the baby grew up, the mother introduced her to the baby, as she was there to witness the baby’s birth. Such moments like these are very special for interpreters at the hospital,” said Quynh Mai.
Unlike interpreters in other working environments, this job brings unique pressures; time, language skill, and knowledge spectrum need to be comprehensive and accurate. However, on the other hand, working at a hospital brings unique moments, interesting experiences, and positive changes in the way they see life.
The reward is more than just a job
Every job in the medical field requires intensity of care and patience. It’s not an exception for an interpreter. A wrong message or an unclear interpretation can lead to unfortunate situations. Understanding the importance of their work, interpreters become more careful over time. They are proactive to learn more from the medical team, as well as from the patients they support.
Ms Doan Thi Hoa Hue (Russian Interpreter) is the newest member of the Interpreting Department. With just over one year working at FV, she has developed her engagement and affection for the job. Ms Hue said: “Each doctor and patient have different personalities. I got used to this job and started approaching and communicating in a more appropriate way”. There will be inevitable conflict and disagreement while working, but thanks to the common goal to bring patients good health, everything is going to be fine. Its thanks to challenges at work, it also brings more language skill and the love for Russian language in Ms Hue.
People quickly forget the joys that come easily, but clearly remember the difficulties, or the moments of joy that come after challenges. In nearly two decades of work, Mr Son has forgotten how many times he has assisted in emergencies or in urgent cases. However, the feeling of working together to save life and health of others always remains a beautiful memory for him. “Many patients who I’ve supported a long time ago still remember me. Sometimes they come back and for request me to support them. I think that’s the memorable thing about this job,” said Mr Son.
Each job has its own difficulties and joys. This job creates a distinct sense of meaning in life, which helps us go to work with a mission, and motivation to become a better version of ourselves. Ms Hoa Hue said: “Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m at work, it’s just I am helping others”. That feeling helps interpreters strive to improve their language and medical knowledge. Through self-development, they know they are open to receive other values in life.
The members of the Interpreting Department can be recognised in the gorgeous pink colour uniform in the lobby, or throughout the faculties at FV. It’s also their uniform colour that conveys their bright spirit. They are bringing peace of mind and trust for patients and medical staff at the hospital.