NPR logo

Doctor's Patients Are Interpreter's Patients, Too

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97356045/97356025" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Doctor's Patients Are Interpreter's Patients, Too

Commentary

Doctor's Patients Are Interpreter's Patients, Too

Doctor's Patients Are Interpreter's Patients, Too

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97356045/97356025" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In towns and cities across the United States there are patients who do not speak English. Whether they're sick, in labor or going in for an annual check-up, they rely on people like commentator Nataly Kelly.

For years, Kelly worked as a telephone interpreter. She shares highlights of what it's like to be the voice of the patient and the doctor, or the dispatcher, the social worker or the benefits coordinator.

Her essay appeared originally in the Narrative Matters section of the journal Health Affairs.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.