How are boundaries relevant in the healthcare setting?
i. To stay within the boundaries of your interpreter role is somewhat related to impartiality and trust. It is important that you demonstrate your trustworthiness in the capacity of a medical interpreter by removing yourself from conflict of interest situations, personal involvements and anything that would go beyond the scope of your professional position.
ii. Your job is within a healthcare setting, it is inappropriate for you to become involved in your patients' personal lives.
iii. Your job is to be a professional interpreter. If a patient has certain strong prejudices about you that create a communications barrier which prevent you from properly doing your job, then you should withdraw.
iv. If certain situations prevent you from doing a professional job, then you should withdraw or not accept the medical interpreting assignment. Examples:
- you do not feel technically qualified, (example: simulataneous interpreting or sophisticated vocabulary)
-you feel so uncomfortable with subject matter it prevents accuracy.
- you believel there is a real or perceived conflict of interest.
- you are a relative or close friends with patient or patient’s family.
- the patient topic reminds you of a painful or sensitive topic that prevents you from doing the job objectively, impartially and within boundaries. Examples: war time in Cambodia or El Salvador , rape experience, a political struggle you experienced.
If you discover a limitation after a job started, it is best to express limitation and withdraw but you might continue until the new interpreter is found.
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