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I've benefited from using medical interpreters several times during my career and I'm grateful for them. However, it's so frustrating to find out, after a time-consuming interpretation session, that a non-English-speaking patient has been in the United States for 15 or 20 years!!
My mother, my grandparents, and dozens of my aunts, uncles, and cousins were all immigrants. And although it was difficult, they all learned English.
All of us with non-English-speaking friends and relatives in this country should use our patient-education skills to encourage them to learn English for their own sake-and for ours. Most of us don't have 25 to 45 minutes to devote to working with medical interpreters.
BINA SIMON, RN
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