NUR 370: Week 8 Discussion: The Professional Interpreter


Step 1 Post a response to the discussion board. In your post, respond to the following prompts:

  • Compare the similarities and differences between the roles of interpreter and translator.
  • Describe the roles of the interpreter and translator in providing culturally sensitive nursing care.
  • When providing culturally sensitive care, what is the most appropriate role/use of the interpreter and the translator?
  • What services are available at your workplace?
  • Describe whether the service is translating or interpreting and whether it meets patient and nurse needs.

Step 2 Read other students’ posts and respond to at least two of them by Friday at 11:59pm MT.

Use your personal experience, if it’s relevant, to support or debate other students’ posts. If differences of opinion occur, debate the issues professionally and provide examples to support opinions.

Cite any sources in APA format.

Peer Discussion 1 (Paul Joe)

The roles of an interpreter and translator involve communication across cultures and they are both considered language services. The method of delivery is the main difference between an interpreter and a translator. While an interpreter is a person specially trained to convert oral messages from one language to another, a translator is a person specially trained to convert written message from one language to another (Interpreter vs translator, n.d para 2 & 3).

To provide cultural sensitive nursing care, an interpreter and a translator convey a patient’s message in the original context without any alteration, and taking into consideration cultural context. Also, interpreters and translators are usually not relatives of the patients. However, they are trained medical professionals guided by the code of ethics.

At my work place, interpreter services is readily available. Every unit at the hospital I work has an I-pad for interpreting services. So, after selecting a language and with a click of the call button, a live video conversation starts between the patient, nurse, and interpreter.

Since it involves oral conversion from one language to another, the service at my work place is interpreting. The interpreting services have helped overcome language barriers, and have met the need of patients and nurses 100 percent of the time.


Interpreter vs translator, n.d Refugee health. Retrieved from


Peer Discussion 2 (Elizabeth)

Interpreters and translators enables individuals who would normally have difficulties communicating with each other the means to do so. The main difference between an interpreter and a translator is an interpreter converts verbal messages from one language to another while a translator converts written messages from one language to another. For an example, when someone is speaking to an individual who speaks a different language, the interpreter will “interpret” the message that is being conveyed while also expressing the information in the same way that it is being delivered. On the other hand, a translator will “translate” a text into the desired language so both parties are able to communicate.

“While the “delivery method” (e.g. oral or written) may differ between the two professions, both reflect the cultural terms, expressions, and idioms that provide meaning to the content. Both must capture any expression or nuance in the meaning of the original content. In certain instances, concepts will have no linguistic equivalent, but the interpreter and translator’s job is to find an equivalent way of conveying the message with accuracy and completeness” (Refugee Health TA).

I currently work as a Registered Nurse Care Manager at an insurance company and the majority of my time I am doing assessments with patients via telephone due to Covid-19. Many of my patients do not speak English therefore a 3rd party interpreter is involved in the calls. These interpreters are imperative to this job because without them many nurses would have no way to communicate with these patients. Also, when I am conducting my assessments, if my patient does not understand a word that was sad the interpreter will ask, “does interpreter have permission to explain the meaning in more detail”? These interpreters have a vast understanding of medical jargon and are able to elaborate more on a word in the case a patient does not fully understand.


Refugee Health TA. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2020, from…

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