The unseen language communication breakdown impact in the two KwaZulu–Natal based hospitals
Khumalo, Thabani Robert
Makhubu, Rosethal Loli
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This paper aims to examine the interpreting services provided during consultations in the medical settings. It looks broadly at the communication deficiencies created by the difference in the languages spoken by both medical practitioners and the patients during consultations. For several times the researcher’s personal experience has shown that isiZulu speaking patients are frequently consulted by English speaking doctors whenever they visit medical institutions. Consequently, as a result of this situation, these isiZulu speaking patients with limited English proficiency find it difficult to fully express all their medical conditions to the English speaking doctors vice versa due to the existing language barriers. These language barriers are most likely to give rise to inferior medical assistance to isiZulu speaking patients. Furthermore, the nurses find themselves being ad hoc interpreters in this regard based on the assumption that they are bilingual. However, their linguistic and interpreting ability are not considered. The study therefore investigates the possible shortcomings and also looks at the implications most likely to occur as a result of reluctance in the provision of professional medical interpreting services also by professional personnel. The data is collected from medical practitioners (doctors and nurses) and patients. From the results obtained, the researchers therefore draw possible recommendations in order to address the identified shortcomings.
Khumalo, R.T. and Makhubu, R.L. 2015. The unseen language communication breakdown impact in the two KwaZulu– atal based hospitals. International Journal of Engineering, Business and Enterprise Applications (IJEBEA). 12(1): 1-7.