Video interpreters' service makes prayer connections

April 1, 2015

Fr. Tim Bushy, director of mission integration and spiritual care, demonstrates how he uses a real-time interpretation service at Providence Newberg Medical Center in Newberg, Ore.

As Fr. Tim Bushy administered the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick at Providence Newberg Medical Center, a Spanish-speaking interpreter provided a real-time translation via a two-way video for the elderly Hispanic patient. The patient was so moved by the ability to pray together with the priest through the aid of the interpreter, she thanked Fr. Bushy repeatedly and kissed his hand, he recalled.

Fr. Bushy, the Newberg, Ore., medical center's director of mission integration and spiritual care, said the hospital is located in a county where 16 percent of the population is Hispanic. Clinical and spiritual care staff rely on the two-way video interpretive service to communicate in Spanish and other languages with patients who have limited proficiency in English. While the interpretation service is used by clinicians to communicate with patients about medical care, Fr. Bushy said it was a mission-driven effort at the hospital to use the service to also meet spiritual needs and "reveal God's love for all," including the poor and vulnerable.

Fr. Bushy said the hospital has used the Language Access Network's MARTTI service, which stands for My Accessible Real-Time Trusted Interpreter, since September 2013.

The Columbus, Ohio-based Language Access Network provides on-demand medical interpreting via video and audio links. Dori Jennings, the company's marketing and public relations coordinator, said interpreters are often called on to aid communication between patients and spiritual care staff at client hospitals, and they receive targeted training in pastoral care interpretive services.

Fr. Bushy said the hospital continues to use contracted interpreters who provide in-person interpretation to help communicate about a patient's clinical and spiritual care.


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