All hospitals and medical centers should provide medical interpreters for people who are limited- or non-English speakers. Medical interpreters should be available for most languages and are free-of-charge to the patient. These services may be in person or over the telephone. It is best to use a trained medical interpreter rather than a family member or friend. Trained interpreters can explain complex medical terms and procedures which may not be familiar to non-medical people, even if they are fluent in a language. Friends and loved ones may have an emotional response to the information given from a provider, which may affect how they give the information. Updated 02/13/13
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