Interpreters are expected to plan enough time to anticipate delays in traffic, parking and travel to each assignment. Interpreters should arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the start of an appointment and check in with registration or scheduling staff. In case of emergencies, if you anticipate being late, please contact your agency immediately to ask them to convey information about a delay to the department or location you are assigned to.
If you arrive late to an assignment, you be paid for the actual time you work, not the one hour minimum for an assignment. Missing appointments, arriving late or leaving an appointment early without notice may cause you to be restricted from further assignments at Swedish. Leaving a patient without an assigned interpreter is a patient safety issue.
When you meet the patient, please introduce yourself and verify that you are with the correct patient you were requested for by verifying their name and date of birth. Consult briefly with the medical provider about the nature of the appointment and ask any clarifying questions you may need to accurately explain to the patient what will occur during the appointment.
While waiting, if you are not assisting a patient or staff member, please do not leave to take phone calls or do other activities unless it is an emergency, and you notify SMC staff of your location. Your assignment begins when you start delivering interpretation services to the patient and SMC staff and ends when you are dismissed and signed out. Do not request to be signed in early or late if you are not actively interpreting. Please note that all incomplete assignments will not be paid.
If the patient or provider is late, interpreters are expected to stay a minimum of 30 minutes, but up until the entire time you have been confirmed for their scheduled assignment unless dismissed by SMC staff. Interpreters should notify Swedish providers or staff a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the end of all assignments that their appointment time is concluding allowing the provider or staff person time to plan interpreter coverage for the remainder of the appointment if the encounter will run over. If SMC staff wants an interpreter to remain beyond the scheduled appointment time, this must be conveyed to an interpreter's agency and no delay must occur for other patients the interpreter is assigned to. An interpreter should step out of an appointment to contact their agency for guidance.
If your assignment goes beyond three hours, you must use your back-up documentation form and get hourly signatures from authorized SMC staff. The maximum time that you may interpret for a single encounter is twelve hours. You are not allowed to sleep or eat during an assignment, but you may ask to sign out, or be replaced to do so if needed.
Interpreters must always wear their agency Identification Badge in full view when conducting an assignment. If you forget to wear your ID, you will be requested to provide alternate photo ID, two patient identifiers and your agency may be contacted to verify your assignment. You will not be allowed access to patients without photo ID, or agency verification and your lack of agency ID will be documented as an infraction.
Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Blind and Hard of Hearing Patients,
Family Members and Visitors
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