How Provider Training Can Help You Get More Out Of Interpreting Services

In recent articles, we’ve discussed the extensive additional training every interpreter goes through. But did you know that to get the most out of interpreting services, you need some training, too?

SWITS offers “provider training” to help our clients work with Limited English Proficient (LEP) members of the community and with the interpreters who make communication with them possible.

Let’s review what provider training consists of, and what the benefits are for interpreting service consumers.

How Does a Provider Training Work?

These trainings are usually delivered in a workshop format that lasts about 2 hours. Though there are workshops available for specific settings (such as educational environments), most are more general and intended for anyone who uses interpreter services. Anyone who is
interested in being an active participant in selecting and working with professional interpreters can benefit.

What Does the Training Cover?

The short answer: It covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time. The good news is that much of what you’ll learn is simply mindfulness and awareness of the interpreting dynamic so communication goes smoothly.

A typical workshop will cover subjects such as:

  • The roles of medical, community, and legal interpreters, and the differences between them. This portion of the training will be customized for your setting.
  • Tools for monitoring your professional interpreters, and what ethics and standards apply
    to various settings.
  • Identifying the interpreter setting and choosing the right modality such as when it is
    appropriate to use telephone interpreting or video remote interpreting (VRI)
  • Remote interpreting cost savings, techniques, and tradeoffs
  • Ways to minimize cost when providing high quality language access to Limited English
    Proficient persons
  • The most effective ways to schedule interpreters
  • Ongoing efforts to increase the number of qualified interpreters in our state

In healthcare settings, we also cover the specifics of the National Council on Interpreting in
Healthcare Code of Ethics
What Conversational Techniques Will I Learn?

In addition to information about working with interpreters, we also make sure you understand
the dynamics of interpreting, and how to facilitate clear communication. To cite just a few
examples, you’ll learn:

  • What to expect in a typical interpreting session
  • Crucial differences between spoken interpreting and American Sign Language (ASL)
  • How and when to have a “pre-session”
  • The best ways to handle introductions
  • How to handle the differences between collaborative and adversarial settings
  • How your position in the room and proper eye contact with the LEP individual can make
    interpretation more effective
  • How to handle (and limit) side conversations with the interpreter
  • How to phrase questions and statements for the best possible clarity
  • What different modes of interpretation are, and how they are used

When you have received provider training, you’ll know how to make communication clear and
concise, getting the most out of interpreting services for you and those who you speak with.