3 Books that Made Me a Better Interpreter and Why (Part 3)

3 books series

This is the third in this series. If you missed the first two, no worries. Start with this one and work your way around to the others, if you like. Now for the last book (for this series, anyway) that helped me become a better medical interpreter, even though the book had nothing at all to do with interpreting.

Finally. . . Hardwiring Excellence by Quint Studer.

Brief synopsis: This non-fiction book focuses on creating and driving a sustainable culture of excellence, always and in all ways, in all healthcare facilities as they work to improve the health of their local communities.

Insights Gained:

  • Everyone has priorities and problems unique to them, their role, and their responsibilities.
  • Data and measurements are important to improvement, but even more, “[e]veryone has to see all of the data. This helps staff better understand the power of their role in shaping change and supporting key actions so they can be part of the solution.” (Kindle location 974)
  • Change is hard, but not impossible.

Better interpreter because:

If I’m being honest, I think my priorities and problems greater and more important than anyone else’s. If I’m being really, really honest, it doesn’t even seem possible to me that someone else might have different priorities or bigger problems than I have. This book helps break through those erroneous thoughts. This is especially important to keep in mind when navigating the whole of the healthcare system – from the parking garage to the executive suites. As language access folks, we interact with the people in all of these areas at some point in our career, sometimes multiple times throughout the day. It is helpful for me to keep in mind that as I am seeing the world through my lens of language access, which is my operational area of expertise and “comfort zone,” the healthcare team members I’m interacting with are seeing the world through a much different lens – one that includes burnt out light bulbs, network errors, union labor disputes, and sometimes being the focus of international headline news. It’s hard for me to imagine that language access isn’t at the top of everyone’s priority list. But, for most people in many healthcare systems, language access is one piece of a very large puzzle, which includes many important pieces for which they are entirely responsible. Keeping that perspective in mind helps when assessing and addressing different situations – be they isolated incidents or systemic problems.

This book also helped me to think beyond the silos and tunnels and raised my awareness of the transformational transitional journey that is ever-present in the healthcare world. Everyone is at a different point when going through a transitional or transformational journey. Compared to some, I might be a few steps ahead on accepting and adapting to the changes. Compared to others, I might be way behind the pack. As an interpreter who navigates different departments and different healthcare systems, this awareness helps me to keep from getting too uptight with myself or others. Although some days are easier than others, the healthcare facility need not be a battleground, except against disease, illness, and any other malady.

Bonus: With plenty of story woven in to the practical applications, this one just might make a good read from your entire team, or maybe even a nice gift for your favorite C-level executive.

What book has helped you understand your working environment better?

Related Posts:

  • 3 Books that Made Me a Better Interpreter and Why (Part 1)
  • 3 Books that Made Me a Better Interpreter and Why (Part 2)
Posted on April 2, 2015 and filed under Interpreter.