The importance of medical translators is often ignored. Medical translators are employed for the purpose of accurately translating any medical text into understandable language. All medical documents need to be translated and this includes the following:
- Outpatient documents/files
- Doctors’ reports
- Invoices and balance sheets
- Test result reports
In addition to this, medical translators are expected to attend conferences and various relevant medical appointments in order to provide interpreting services during the proceedings. Medical translation also incorporates translation from audio-visual format to text. This is a very important aspect of medical translation as very important details can be missed if medical professionals only rely on visual images.
It goes without saying that any medical translator needs to be absolutely at the top of his/her game when it comes to medical terminology in all fields of medicine and pharmaceutical industries.
Very importantly, a medical translator is used as a reliable conveyor of medical information between a medical professional and a patient. There are many misunderstandings that occur because patients often don’t understand what the medical professional is trying to tell them. Making use of a medical translator can eliminate this problem and ensure that patients are always properly informed with regards to diagnosis of diseases and illness and treatment.
Misunderstanding of a diagnosis can lead to a broken relationship between a doctor and a patient. This often results in tragedy as patients then choose to completely ignore everything the doctor tries to say.
As there are many non-English speaking patients in South Africa, it becomes every more important that there are adequate medical translation services in place. In instances where medical translators have to translate medical subjects from English to another language, it is preferable that they have relevant medical experience within the country where the other language is spoken. Medical translators who boast experience in foreign countries are regarded as major assets to the medical industry.
Additionally, medical translation is an ongoing educational experience. This means that medical translators should continuously expand their knowledge as the medical and pharmaceutical industries change and become more advanced.