Cultural competency is an important strategy of eliminating racial disparities and improving quality in health, human and social services. The goal of cultural competency in these services is to create a health, human and social service system and practitioners who are capable of delivering the highest-quality care to all clients regardless of their cultural background, ethnicity, and race and language proficiency. If the professionals are not culturally competent they will not be in a position to handle social problems (Lecca, et. al. 1998, p. 71).
Professionals offering these services do require an interpreter in certain situations such as; when the provider is not thoroughly effective and fluent in the target language should always use an interpreter. In situations when a client is not mentally fit a provider may need an interpreter. In cases in which language and literacy rate of the patient and practitioner vary due to different cultural groups, an interpreter will be required. Incase the client is a child who is under five years or more or an elderly person an interpreter is required.
If the client is unconscious the provider can request for an interpreter (Lecca, et. al. 1998, p. 89). To minimize these problems, a professional should use an interpreter of the same sex as the client to avoid client from feeling insecure. Family members should be avoided as interpreters. Professional should learn basic words and sentences to minimize use to interpreter since they don’t deliver effective works due to biasness. They should address patients directly without any direct commentary to or through interpreter.
Incase the professional suspects any problems and gets a negative response, then s/he should know that the interpreter knows what he wants. Interpreter should not be confused through backing up rephrasing or hesitating. Finally providers should attain training to be culturally competent to avoid cases of having an interpreter so as to offer effective service to clients (Lecca, et. al. 1998, p. 210). Using of an interpreter is not a good idea because the service given to the client will not be sufficient since an interpreter may be bias.
Incase the interpreter is of different sex, s/he no knowledge on the service provided to clients of other sex leading to poor or wrong service being given to the client. There is no guarantee that practitioner’s conversion will be correctly interpreted to the patients and patient’s comments may not be conveyed accurately (Lecca, et. al. 1998, p. 211). List of References Lecca, P. J. , et. al. (1998), Cultural Competency in Health, Social and Human Services: Directions for the Twenty-first Century. NY: Garland Publisher
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