As Idaho continues to adapt to the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, undergraduates Nate Weber and Alondra Murillo have continued providing translation services to Spanish speaking medical patients at Genesis Community Health Center. Weber, a current intern in the CAHL, and Murillo, a former volunteer, are part of team of BSU undergraduates who are critical in providing linguistically and culturally appropriate healthcare services to the Spanish speaking population.
The translation team now has access to a HIPAA-compliant calling service, virtually meeting program, and electronic medical system, all of which enable them to continue providing services that are needed now more than ever.
Weber has been with the translation program since its inception in 2019, and now works as its student coordinator. “When the patients are being brought back to the room, they just have this look of discomfort on their faces and as soon as you go in there and say ‘hola, soy el intérprete,’ they kind of light up,” he explained. “You can really tell that they feel more comfortable. For me, it’s that aspect that’s so worthwhile, that we can serve a greater population that has this great need.”
Murillo, also an aspiring physician, understands the vulnerability of patients who can’t easily communicate with their doctors. “Patients get nervous, they don’t know what to say or how to describe their pain. I want them to feel comfortable to know that someone is on their side even though they don’t speak English. I want to provide accountability because I know how easy it is for words to be misinterpreted and misunderstood in both languages.”
Despite the rapid changes amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the translation team is virtually working to ensure that patient translation needs continue to be met. “It’s great to know that people are coming together to do that for a community, even with all the crazy stuff going on in the world,” Murillo stated.