At a clinic, hospital or medical practice
While most doctors in Germany do speak English, the healthcare workers and administrative staff supporting them often don’t. They’re the ones doing all the pre-consultation work or admitting you to hospital, which means…. paperwork. If you’d like to take an interpreter with you, we would be happy to help.
Patience, compassion and discretion are the three key things we bring when interpreting during hospital admissions or specialist appointments. We have been there for good and bad news, scans, tests and physicals. If you’re feeling scared, vulnerable or just under the weather, you need someone professional and calm by your side. There is usually quite a bit of time to kill in the waiting rooms. We can distract you with conversation, help you fill out German language forms or leave you alone, as you wish.
This is anyone’s guess. Some hospitals and clinics ask you to walk in within a certain time window and serve you when they have the time. Others ask you to be there 30 minutes before a procedure or similar. Tell us when you’d like us to get there and we’ll stay for as long as you or the healthcare team deem it appropriate. Admission to hospital (the paperwork bit) usually takes about half an hour, but you might like us to stay while you get a tour of the facilities or for a scan or test. Experience shows us that we generally stay for about 2-3 hours for hospital admissions or scans.
What can’t we do?
As your interpreter, we would never offer advice on how to deal with medical issues or speak to staff on your behalf without your involvement.