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The Catalyst

Interpreters key to communications, quality patient care

By Daniel Torrelio
Medical Interpreter Services

MUHA's Medical Interpreter team stand ready to assist patients and staff. Back row from left, Alfonso Loli, Sam Cogdell, Brian Digennaro,  Manuel Lopez, Antwan Walter (ASL interpreter). Front Row: Geraldine Torres, Elena Moore, Isabel Detzler, Jose Rodriguez. Not pictured: Fabiola Drymon, Daniel Torrelio, Martha Gomez, Julie Tecklenburgh and Maria Guinea.  photo by Cindy Abole, Public Relations

Throughout the week of Sept. 29 to Oct. 3, MUSC recognizes Medical Interpreter Recognition Week. International Translation Day, observed on Sept. 30, is also the feast of Saint Jerome, patron saint of translators. He is best known for his translation of the Bible from Greek to Latin.

As one of a dozen medical interpreters at MUSC, my colleagues and I work hard to serve patients and caregivers alike. Whether we are interpreting American Sign Language or Spanish, or meeting patients face–to–face, over the telephone or through document translation, we want to make sure no one says, “It’s Greek to me.”

Children’s Hospital Pediatric Procedure Center nurse manager Donna DiLuna is pleased to work regularly with the medical interpreter staff.

“Our center uses the interpreters often. They are wonderful, patient and very thorough. They have wonderful interpersonal skills with both families and nursing staff. They play a huge part in alleviating the fears of the parents who do not speak English and whose child is undergoing a frightening procedure,” she said.

Chaplain Terry Wilson, manager of Pastoral Care and Interpreter Services, praised the commitment and teamwork of the 14–member team. “The Interpreters are a great team. They are strong advocates for patients and their families. Interpreters are committed to communication that is clear and understood by the patient and the health care provider,” said Wilson.

To request an interpreter to assist in patient care visit MUHA intranet home page and refer to the red ‘Interpreter Service Hub’ link under the ‘Quick Links’ box. Visit

October 2, 2014



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