Wednesday, 28 October 2015 13:35 Written by

Cancer is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases. Although there are many kinds of cancer, all cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancers can cause serious illness and death.


How normal cells act

The body is made up of trillions of living cells. Normal body cells grow, divide to make new cells, and die in an orderly way. During the early years of a person’s life, normal cells divide faster to allow the person to grow. After the person becomes an adult, most cells divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells or to repair injuries.


How cancer starts

Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. Cancer cells can also invade (grow into) other tissues, something that normal cells can’t do. Growing out of control and invading other tissues are what makes a cell a cancer cell.

Cells become cancer cells because of changes to their DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA is in every cell and it directs all its actions. In a normal cell, when DNA is damaged the cell either repairs the damage or dies. In cancer cells, the damaged DNA is not repaired, but the cell doesn’t die like it should. Instead, the cell goes on making new cells that the body doesn’t need. These new cells all have the same damaged DNA as the first cell does.

People can inherit abnormal or faulty DNA (it’s passed on from their parents), but most DNA damage is caused by mistakes that happen while a normal cell is reproducing or by something in the environment. Sometimes DNA damage may be caused by something obvious like cigarette smoking or sun exposure. But it’s rare to know exactly what caused any one person’s cancer.

In most cases, the cancer cells form a tumor. Over time, the tumors can invade nearby normal tissue, crowd it out, or push it aside. Some cancers, like leukemia, rarely form tumors. Instead, these cancer cells involve the blood and blood-forming organs and circulate through other tissues where they grow.


How cancer spreads

Cancer cells often travel to other parts of the body where they can grow and form new tumors that crowd out normal tissue. This happens when the cancer cells get into the body’s bloodstream or lymph vessels. The process of cancer spreading is called metastasis.

No matter where a cancer may spread, it’s always named based on the place where it started. For instance, colon cancer that has spread to the liver is called metastatic colon cancer, not liver cancer. In this case, cancer cells taken from the liver would be the same as those in the colon. They would be treated in the same ways, too.


How cancers differ

Different types of cancer can behave very differently. For instance, lung cancer and skin cancer are very different diseases. They grow at different rates and respond to different treatments. This is why people with cancer need treatment that’s aimed at their kind of cancer.


Tumors that are not cancer

A tumor is an abnormal lump or collection of cells, but not all tumors are cancer. Tumors that aren’t cancer are calledbenign. Benign tumors can cause problems – they can grow very large and press on healthy organs and tissues. But they can’t grow into (invade) other tissues. And they can’t spread to other parts of the body (metastasize). These tumors are seldom life threatening.

Credits: American Cancer Society

One in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer. But what is cancer? Cancer experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America outline how cancer develops, the most common forms, how it's treated and how to manage treatment side effects. They also discuss what the future holds for cancer treatment.

What is cancer? Watch this five-minute video produced by Cancer Treatment Centers of America that explains cancer in everyday terms 

Thursday, 08 October 2015 04:33 Written by




Standards of practice are a set of guidelines that define what an interpreter does in the perform- ance of his or her role, that is, the tasks and skills the interpreter should be able to perform in the course of fulfilling the duties of the profession. Standards describe what is considered “best practice” by the profession and ensure a consistent quality of performance. For health care inter- preters, the standards define the acceptable ways by which they can meet the core obligations of their profession – the accurate and complete transmission of messages between a patient and provider who do not speak the same language in order to support the patient-provider therapeutic relationship.

As in all professions, the field of interpreting is guided by ethical principles. These standards for health care interpreters show how professional interpreters respond to ethical and other considerations in the performance of their duties. Standards of practice are concerned with the “hows” of performance as compared with codes of ethics that focus on the “shoulds.” A code of ethics provides “a set of principles or values that govern the conduct of members of a profession while they are engaged in the enactment of that profession.”5 In other words, codes of ethics provide “guidelines for making judgments about what is acceptable and desirable behavior in a given context or in a particular relationship”6 while standards focus on the practical concerns of what the interpreter does in the performance of his or her role, offering “best practice” strategies for observing the principles of the code of ethics in day-to-day practice. 


Please download the whole document by clicking on the link provided below

Friday, 02 October 2015 04:55 Written by

MING 2015 Fall Forum Agenda

Eligible For 0.75 IMIA and 6.5 CCHI CEUs!

The Medical Interpreter Network of Georgia (MING) is proud to announce that we are holding our 2015 MING Fall Forum on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 
Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth, Outpatient Center
3805 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth, GA 30096 from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

We have an exciting, fun and highly informative conference planned for you!

Guest Speakers:
Paige W. Havens, Keynote - Brain Injury Association of Georgia
“Brain Injury and Concussion: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnoses and Treatment”

Alison Arévalo Amador and Andrea Henry
“Navigating Health Literacy Disparities: Techniques for the Interpreter”

Emilio J. German – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“HIV-Related Disparities among African-American, Black, Hispanic and Latino Populations in the United States”

Sean Normansell – International Medical Interpreters Association
“Understanding the IMIA CEU Program”

Marilyn Teague - Georgia Interpreting Services Network
“Deaf Culture – the Right Way and the Wrong Way to Interact With a Person Who is Deaf”

Cliff Bray - Westbrook McGrath Bridges Orth and Bray CPA
“Accounting Best Practices for the Medical Interpreter”

Alexandra Guzman - Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at CHOA
“Mandated Reporter Laws In GA”

Vivian I. Rice – Georgia Regents University
“Newly Enhanced CLAS Standards”

Breakfast will be provided by Gwinnett Medical Center and lunch will be provided by Link2Spanish. MING will also be holding a raffle and providing door prizes!

Click Here and Register Today!

Guests: $90

To download the agenda, click here.

For a map of the Gwinnett Medical Center Duluth, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you!
The MING Board of Directors

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 03:11 Written by


As the profession of health care interpreting in the United States matures and evolves, the importance of creating shared understandings of what is considered high quality and ethically appropriate principles and practices in the field becomes imperative. To this end, the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care identified three steps that needed to take place on a national level in order to standardize the expectations that the health care industry and patients should have of interpreters and to raise the quality of health care interpreting. The first step was to create and build support for a single Code of Ethics that would guide the practice of interpreters working in health care venues. The second step was to develop a nationally accepted, unified set of Standards of Practice based on the Code of Ethics that would define competent practice in the field. The third step was to create a national certification process that would set a standard for qualification as a professional health care interpreter. (NCIHC, 2004)

The Standards, Training and Certification (STC) Committee of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) took on the task of bringing the first step to fruition. The goal of the STC Committee was to create a national code of ethics that would provide the growing profession with a set of shared, essential guiding principles expressing what are considered morally appropriate behaviors for its practitioners as they perform their day-to-day duties.

To achieve this goal, the STC Committee engaged in a systematic process of reviewing existing codes of ethics, creating a draft code, conducting national focus groups to review the draft, and eliciting feedback through a national survey. The challenge was to design a code that built on and solidified existing work at the same time that it expanded upon this work to ensure its relevance to all health care interpreters, irrespective of the languages or particular venue in which they were working.

The STC Committee started by identifying and collecting existing codes of ethics in health care and other related areas such as legal and sign language interpreting. This process surfaced a number of codes that were already in use at the local level – by state and national associations of interpreters, institutions of health care, interpreter service organizations, and court programs – in the United States and Canada. The STC Committee then focused on ten codes that were considered most relevant to their work and compared them in order to identify the elements that were held in common and to analyze how each approached those issues that were most difficult and controversial in the field. Based on its analysis, the STC Committee drafted a code that included the elements shared across these existing codes as well as a few that were controversial but relevant. This draft also included a short commentary after each principle that further explained and illustrated that principle.

In the fall of 2002, the STC Committee presented the draft code to working interpreters across the country for review and comment. Focus groups were organized in nine localities across the United States. Attention was paid to the composition of these focus groups to include a broad representation of language groups and modes of service delivery (e.g. face to face and telephone interpreting). The focus groups confirmed the need for a unified national code of ethics and affirmed its development as a positive step for the profession. The feedback from the focus groups also concluded that the draft code was fundamentally complete and appropriate although some principles were seen as more or less controversial.

Based on the focus group feedback, a second draft of the code of ethics, including the commentaries, was developed, incorporating consistently recommended changes. This second draft was then introduced to a larger cross-section of working interpreters through a survey that was disseminated through the NCIHC website and state associations of health care interpreters. Approximately 2500 surveys were distributed, with a return rate of 20%. The STC Committee then analyzed the data from the 500 returned surveys.

In analyzing these data, it became apparent to the Committee that there was strong agreement on the principles as stated in the draft. It was mostly the commentaries that generated controversy in the form of disagreement with the explanations and unresolved questions about implementation. Therefore, in creating the final draft of the code, the STC Committee decided to highlight the consensus there was on the principles themselves by publishing the code as a set of principles without commentary. The STC Committee agreed that further explanation of the principles would be better left to a companion document that could offer a more thorough discussion of the issues raised and to the development of standards-of-practice that would address the practical questions of implementation.

Having considered all the feedback it had received, the STC Committee created a final draft of the code. However, before officially approving the code, the final draft was also sent to a select number of health care providers and medical ethicists for comment.

The National Code of Ethics for Interpreters in Health Care is the result of this systematic, deliberate, and reflective process. The STC Committee is confident that this code represents the principles that working interpreters believe are important to ensure the ethical practice of their profession. These principles are the ones that working interpreters have said merit serious consideration when faced with a dilemma or difficult choice and to which they agree to be held accountable.

This document provides a guide to understanding the National Code of Ethics for Interpreters in Health Care. It was apparent from the responses to the survey that not everyone in the field had the same understanding of the concept of ethics, what a code of ethics represented, what this code meant in the course of professional practice, and what the difference was between a code of ethics and standards of practice. Therefore, this document places the code in the context of ethical behavior in general and then discusses each principle in the context of specific issues and dilemmas often faced by health care interpreters. It provides an elaboration and discussion of each principle and the interrelationships among them, acknowledging that controversies still exist while offering the working interpreter a way to think about these controversies.

This document is organized around three major sections. The first section offers an explanation of ethics and ethical behavior in general as well as in the context of the profession of health care interpreting. The second section describes the core values on which this code of ethics is grounded. Finally, the third section presents a commentary on each of the principles that makes up the National Code of Ethics for Interpreters in Health Care. 


Download the Complete CODE OF ETHICS FOR INTERPRETERS IN HEALTH CARE in the link provided below

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 02:29 Written by

The demand for trained interpreters to help doctors and patients communicate is growing.


By Kirsti Marohn and Stephanie Dickrell, USA TODAY


Going to the doctor can be an uncomfortable and intimidating experience. But imagine if you couldn't communicate with your doctor or nurse to describe your symptoms or explain your medical history.

As the nation becomes more diverse, demand for trained, skilled interpreters to help doctors and patients communicate — and avoid potentially deadly misunderstandings — is growing.

Health care regulations require medical providers who receive federal funding to provide interpreters. There's also growing research on the effects of bad communication on patient safety, said Izabel Arocha, executive director of the International Medical Interpreters Association.

"There's just been a huge increase in awareness that has changed these practices," Arocha said.

However, there aren't always enough medical interpreters to go around, said Rosemond Owens, health literacy and cultural competency specialist at CentraCare Health System in central Minnesota. CentraCare contracts for interpreters from three organizations including The Bridge−World Language Center. Top languages in demand in central Minnesota are Spanish and Somali.

"We don't have to look too far for what needs there are," said the Bridge's CFO and trainer Jan Almarza. "The needs just hit you in the face."

There's a difference between interpreters and translators. Interpreters convert spoken words from one language to another, while translators convert written documents.

Not all bilingual people are interpreters, Almarza said. While bilingual employees or the patient's family members are sometimes tapped to interpret, it's a practice experts say should be avoided.

Programs around the nation that train and certify interpreters in medical terminology, ethics and cultural differences are seeing rising enrollment.

Training for The Bridge's program takes about 40 hours and outlines best practices and ethical guidelines as set by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care. There are also oral and written tests to verify people really understand what they claim to know.

Certified interpreter Adalberto Villalobos was among the first to go through the Bridge's training program in 2010. A native of Costa Rica, Villalobos had recently been laid off after working 16 years at the same company and was looking for a career change.

"I simply fell in love with it," he said. Naturally curious, Villalobos spends a lot of time learning about medical conditions and treatments and has even observed surgeries to improve his knowledge.

Villalobos said it's important but sometimes challenging to maintain professional distance while on the job. He sits to the side of but a little behind the patient and keeps his head down. He must remain impartial, even if the doctor is delivering bad news.

"When I put my interpreter hat on, I'm a machine," he said.

Still, Villalobos feels good knowing that he's helping people. He's interpreted for children, mental health patients and even a woman giving birth when no female interpreters were available.

"There's never a dull moment," he said.

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters has about 500 certified interpreters, said Tina Peña, board president. The program is offered in Spanish and is expanding to Mandarin, Russian and possibly African languages, said Peña, who is also an instructor at Tulsa Community College.

More hospitals and clinics are realizing the need to use trained interpreters, Peña said. In some cases, hospitals have had to pay to settle lawsuits because of errors attributed to language barriers, she said.

Peña teaches her students not only about medical terminology and privacy laws but also familiarizes them with home remedies popular in Hispanic cultures, such as passing an egg over a sick person to chase away evil spirits.

"She is like a cultural broker, and will explain quickly to the doctor what happened," Peña said.

At the University of Georgia's Center for Continuing Education, a 40-hour Spanish medical interpreter certificate program offered three times a year is usually full and sometimes has a waiting list, said Shirley Chesley, program developer. The center recently added a Korean program.

Students learn medical terminology and practice typical scenarios, Chesley said. The program also spends a lot of time on ethics, she said.

"You can't get empathetic with your client," Chesley said. "You have to be very precise and do exactly what's required at that particular moment."

In some cities with a large non English-speaking population, hospitals have added their own interpreters on staff.

At UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., 30%-35% of patients have limited proficiency in English, said Elena Morrow, manager of interpretive services. The hospital has 41 staff members who interpret 16 different languages, she said.

Spanish is the most popular language, followed by Russian, Ukrainian, Hmong and Mien. The interpreters handle about 37,000 encounters every year, Morrow said.

"We do see the demand is quite steady and increasing little by little every year," she said.

The salaries interpreters earn vary depending on whether they work on their own or for a hospital or an agency, what part of the country they are in and what language they speak, said Joy Connell, president of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care.

There are even some interpreters who can work in more than two languages. Those interpreters are in high demand, Connell said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports interpreters and translators in hospitals earn a national average of $21.43 an hour and $44,570 a year.

Technology is helping health care providers meet the demand for interpreters. Using phone or video conferencing allows hospitals and clinics – including those in rural areas – to provide interpreters for patients, even if they speak a rare language.

Video systems are growing in popularity, Arocha said, because "it allows for that very quick access, but it also allows for the face-to-face interaction."

"There are situations where you can't just rely on audio," she said.

Marohn and Dickrell also report for the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times

Thursday, 03 September 2015 16:13 Written by

The international language around the world may be English but not in the world of health care. You need to know another language called medical terminology. It is all about medicines, body and its connected ailments.

Fluency in this language is a must for those who work in this field. Not an easy task, but you need it. Asking why? Well, it is because many terms in the medical world seems and sounds similar, but they are way different from each other.

For example, the doctor advises the nurse to prepare for a colonoscopy session and she brings the tools necessary for an oral surgery. When asked why, she replied, “Doc, you had asked to prepare for a colonoscopy. So that is what I did.”

The doctor told her,” You have brought all tools necessary for an oral mouth surgery called coronectomy and not colonoscopy.  These are completely different.”

For those who don’t know the difference: Colonoscopy involves using a colon scope to check the muscles and inner lining of the intestines whereas Coronectomy is all about protecting the alveolar nerve in the mouth during the wisdom tooth extraction surgery. 

Just look at the harm the nurse would have done if not checked by the doctor! She would have begun with the preliminary tasks of cleaning the mouth and even giving local anaesthesia. This is the same case with all personnel who deal with medicine, from nurses to doctors, to the pharmacist, medical interpreters, medical billing and coding specialists and medical transcriptionists.


What does Medical Terminology include?

It is a vast ocean of knowledge about medicines, treatment procedures, body parts, and organs, various types of care and also it contains a large list of clinical proceedings that need to be observed during various phases of hospital care. 

For those who are thinking it is just English, true it is English but not the one what we normally use. Every term in Medical Terminology needs to be thought carefully and then used as it involves the life and health of people and animals. 


The Importance and benefits of Learning Medical Terminology

It is necessary that you know the accurate meaning of the context where the medical terminology is used and these are the reasons for this:

Right Treatment: A health care professional not only undertakes tests, and records the results, but also have to understand what the patient feels and recognize the symptoms. These have to be accurately written in their hospital records using the right medical terminology, so that the right treatment is undertaken.

Saves time and money: Medical terminology is the means of communication for patients. In case a patient has to be transferred from one hospital to another, it is his/ her files that speak for them. No need to waste time and money again as it will be gruesome process for the patient. So, make sure to record all the details of the patient with accurate medical terminology.

Insurance Claims: Accurate entry of details will be necessary for the patient to obtain insurance claims. If wrong medical coding, or medical terminology or incorrect description of treatment is provide it will pose to be a problem for the patient to reimburse their claims.

Use of Abbreviations: Next time you visit the doctor; do look at how they enter your details in the patient file. It will be entered in the form of abbreviations and they too are a part of medical language.

There are terms that may look similar at a glance, but will mean exactly the opposite, so make sure all who deal with the medical world are knowledgeable in this regard; or else patients will have to face the consequences.