As an interculturalist, I decided to combine my interest in intercultural identity and communication with my accumulated interpreting expertise, so I set out to explore the cultural work of professional medical interpreters.
The premise of all of my research related to interpreting is that practitioners are the ultimate experts of their own craft. My goal was to give interpreters a voice.
Therefore, this 5-year international research project 458 participants in 25 countries) explored what professional healthcare interpreters thought of their work of bridging cultures between providers and patients, within the framework of providing culturally and linguistically competent services. The results shed light for the first time into the interpreter’s perspectives of their cultural work, giving interpreters a voice. I am now engaged in investigating the providers’ and the patients’ perspectives on the subject and am writing a book on Intercultural Communication.
The study results and analysis generated new theoretical models about their scope of work, macro roles, and the goals and objectives of medical interpreters that differ from other interpreter specializations due to the context and demands of the healthcare sector. I have been presenting a 2-hour webinar on the topic via various interpreter associations, approved for .2 CCHI CEs and 2 IMIA CEUs.
This work has generated a presence in facebook (see left bar), and Linkedin, and now a website www.interculturalmediation.org, various publications (see Research), as well as a 2 hour workshop, a 4 hour workshop, a 3-credit university level course, and a book on the subject of Intercultural Mediation in Healthcare.
We've been in touch with Dr. Souza for over 10 years. She has an enormous knowledge and experience in the fields of medical interpreting and the organization of culturally competent health care services. Our own 'Intercultural mediation in health care program' has greatly benefited from her experience. We certainly intend to continue to ask her advice in the development of our activities.
Head of the Intercultural Mediation and Policy Support Unit
Federal Public Service for Health
Food Chain safety and Environment