Interpreter Narratives: End-Of-Life Conversations in a Pediatric Hospital




Warren, Corinne Neitzke


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Warren, Corinne Neitzke., Interpreter Narratives: End-of-Life Conversations in a Pediatric Hospital. Master of Public Health (Health Interpreting and Health Applied Linguistics), October 2007, 162 pp., bibliography, 74 titles. Aspects of communication between caregivers and patients/families are noted consistently in the literature as important to perceptions of quality of care at the end of life (EOL). Healthcare interpreters, along with providers, can be “deliverers of bad news.” EOL encounters create challenging and unique role and performance demands for interpreters; as active participants in these conversations, interpreters intervene in various ways that impact the communication process. While they may view providers as having the central role in an encounter, aspects of their performance suggest the pivotal nature of their own participation. This exploratory, qualitative research aimed to understand and represent interpreters’ perceptions of the EOL communication they facilitate when providers and pediatric patients and families don’t share language or culture. Their perspectives were revealed in their stories of EOL encounters, as they recounted personal reactions to specific circumstances and conversation exchanges as well as how they handled interpretation in particular situations.