cryingchild who misses his mother. A woman who ecstatically receives
the news that she is pregnant. A couple who has tested positive
for a serious STD. These are only a few examples of the situations
that I encounter every day.
I am a medical interpreter. I am also a student.
I am very thankful that the interpretation certification program
came to Wake Forest University during my time here. In May, I
will be one of the first two students to graduate with the certificate.
I decided to take the Interpretation and Translation survey class
with Dr. Furmanek last year more out of curiosity than any other
reason. After discovering that I have an interest in and affinity
for the work, I am taking the course in consecutive and simultaneous
interpretation and performing a paid internship to complete the
I have quickly discovered that, while I do not plan to make Spanish/English
interpretation my career, it is a growing field which can open
doors to other professional opportunities. No matter if a student
is interested in business, law, or (like me) medicine, interpreting
in your chosen field gets you involved in ways that most interns
can only imagine.
After volunteering as a medical interpreter for a year and a half,
I was offered a job this semester interpreting at a local OB/GYN
center. Not only can I make a contribution to patient's medical
care, but I also get the invaluable opportunity to observe professionals
at work. I am involved and actively consulted as doctors take
a medical history, perform a physical exam, and offer a diagnosis
and treatment. The people with whom I work know about my aspirations
and make a special effort to teach me. They explain symptoms,
let me watch procedures, and show me interesting specimens under
best experience as an interpreter, however, was just a couple
of weeks ago. A woman for whom I had interpreted came in for her
post-partum checkup. She brought her newborn with her to the appointment.
His name is Javier. As his mother was examined, and I interpreted,
I held Javier and stroked his hair. Every so often his big brown
eyes would open to squint at me before falling closed again. It
was just so incredible to think that I played a very small part
into bringing this healthy, beautiful child into the world. In
the field of interpreting, you bring people together; and together,
people can do amazing things.