Imagine going to the hospital for medical care and not being able to communicate with those who can help you. Now imagine wanting to deliver potentially life-saving treatment, but not being able to communicate with the person in need.
There are approximately 25 million people in the United States who speak little or no English. Access to interpreters has been a problem in healthcare settings for years, with COVID-19 intensifying an existing need.
Stay-at-home orders and quarantines have impacted the estimated 100,000 interpreters working in hospitals across the country. Some are continuing to provide face-to-face services (sometimes without proper protective equipment), others are advised to stay at home, while others are finding new ways to deliver their services.
The wave of new remote workers includes interpreters. Just as workers in other industries are adjusting to working out of their homes, some medical staff is adjusting to providing care via a remote interpreter.
The need for interpreters extends beyond the physician’s office to mental and behavioral health services. As the world navigates the subsequent mental health impacts of this pandemic, including depression, survivor’s guilt, and grief, access to mental health services is going to be a huge part of the recovery process.
When it comes to utilization of employee benefits, the overcoming the language barrier is important for the delivery of support services like short-term counseling and health advocacy.
The use of interpreters is a common for NexGen EAP. eni provides employee assistance program services in more than 180 languages. When an individual contacts the EAP speaking a language other than English, a translator is brought into the conversation, allowing for the seamless flow of information. Confidentiality is ensured during the conversation and any subsequent communication. To ensure equal access to provided services, our translation services even include our employee-facing marketing materials.