Beebe Medical Center Interpreter Earns Additional Certification
Beebe Medical Center is proud to announce that Alina Ferrer, MSW, full-time Spanish Interpreter in its Patient Relations Department, recently earned the Certified Medical Interpreter accreditation from the Cross Cultural Healthcare Program based in Seattle, Washington. This certification is newly offered through the Wicomico Department of Health and the Northern Virginia Area Health Education Center in response to the increasing Spanish-speaking population in our area.
“A full-time interpreter has been a tremendous addition to Beebe Medical Center in terms of the level of services we provide our community,” remarks Dr. Larry Hegland, Vice President of Medical Affairs. “Staff and patient feedback have shown that Ms. Ferrer does a wonderful job in connecting with patients and community organizations, which is critical toward making our Spanish-speaking patients more comfortable in seeking medical treatment and achieving better healthcare outcomes.”
Ms. Ferrer passed qualifying examinations in English and Spanish, and successfully completed an intensive 40-hour training course, which included medical ethics and anatomy and physiology education. Few hospitals nationwide staff full-time Spanish interpreters. Requests for interpretive services at Beebe Medical Center have increased 500% since knowledge of Ms. Ferrer’s services has grown (according to tracking data between September 2003 and February 2004).
“The level of need for interpretive services in our community continues to increase,” Ms. Ferrer explains. “This additional education and certification has sharpened my understanding of specific medical issues. Protecting issues of patient confidentiality, and interpreting the meaning of certain expressions versus literal interpretation, were important areas of focus throughout the training.”
Ms. Ferrer is a member of Beebe’s Patient Relations Department and is a bilingual/bicultural, master’s prepared social worker. Beebe created its staff interpreter position in September 2003 to better serve the Hispanic patient population in Sussex County. She is available Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., to assist patients and staff throughout the Medical Center, as well as throughout Beebe’s satellite locations, giving priority to medical issues, patient consent and education situations, and psychosocial emergencies. Ms. Ferrer coordinates document translation for all departments and provides community outreach to our Hispanic community.
In addition to providing Ferrer’s language services, Beebe’s Patient Relations Department maintains an internal Language Bank, which is a listing of Beebe employees and volunteers that are fluent in a language(s) other than English. Beebe may call upon Language Bank members to interpret for patients throughout the hospital.