Good communication and mutual understanding are very important when patients meet with healthcare professionals. In order to ensure that everyone has equal access to good quality healthcare services, it is often necessary to use an interpreter to make sure that information and communication have been understood.
As a patient, you should have information about your own health and treatment in a language you understand. If you have limited knowledge of Norwegian, or if you speak Sami, are deaf, hearing impaired or blind, you may need an interpreter.
You may also have the right to an interpreter even if you speak Norwegian on a daily basis. This is especially important if you have serious or chronic illnesses, and in consultations regarding mental illnesses.
It is the healthcare service that is responsible for assessing the need for interpretation and ordering qualified interpreters. If you have need for interpretation, please contact the department where you have your appointment. You will find contact information in your letter from the hospital.
Patients and Interpreting
To make the most of a consultation with an interpreter, it may be useful to prepare yourself in these ways:
- Show up on time
- Plan what you want to talk about in the health consultation
- Tell the health service what language you speak
- If several family members are to participate in the consultation, one should have an interpreter that everyone in the family can understand
- Use short sentences and do not say too much at a time, making it easier for the interpreter to interpret what is said correctly
Good interpretation practices
- The interpreter is responsible for holding the information confidential
- The translator should translate everything expressed during the conversation and not leave out, change or add anything
- The interpreter must not take sides in the interpretation situation, and the interpreter's own attitudes should not affect the interpretation
- Interpreters must not undertake other tasks in connection with the interpretation