We always are talking about the importance of health care. A good doctor, your dentist, how affordable could be the drugs we take an so on. Nevertheless, we seldom put in consideration the need to be understood in the health care system when it comes to “language barrier”. Take a look of the statistics in the US, the majority of people who are immigrants in the US will have records in another language than English; this records will also includes medical documents. It is very hard to believe that almost all the prescription drugs given to people in the United States do not include a translation made by the pharmaceutical companies nor a bilingual instruction based on the need of the individual who is taking the drugs. In addition, many of the medical records are not translated to the advantage of the health care professional from progress notes to discharge summaries. The main questions is: What is the importance of having this translated by a professional? I think the answer lays in the frequency off events of miss-understanding. Take for example, a comment made by Dr. Antonia Novello, the former Surgeon General of the United States, when she recalled a label that said “Take once a day”, well the world once in Spanish means 11. Could you imaging taking a dosage eleven times more of the original prescription?
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